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Wes Westrum Museum

Westrum Brothers Play Ball
  • Both were born in  Clearbrook.
  • Wes was born in 1922.
  • Lyle was born in 1927.
  • Wesley and Lyle Westrum both started in minor league baseball.
  • Wesley played for Minneapolis Millers.
  • Lyle played for the Joplin Miners.
  • Both men were catchers.
  • Both leagues were affiliated with the New York Yankees.  
Lyle Westrum   
  • The Joplin Miners were in the Western Association in 1950.
  • There were 8 teams in that league.
  • The batting stats show Lyle was second to Mickey Mantle in the Joplin Miners.
  • Mickey Mantle led the league and Lyle was 7th over all 8 teams.
In 1950 at Springfield, MO, the Springfield Cubs were playing the Joplin Miners and an announcer for KICK Radio collected autographs from 18 members of the Joplin Miners on a baseball to give his nephew. Chances were good that one of these players would one day become a Hall of Famer. The photos show one side of the ball with Mickey Mantle's autograph and on another side, the autograph of Lyle Westrum.


 Wes Westrum

Wes Westrum started playing Legion baseball when he was 10. In 1940,  when he was just 17, he had a chance to play professional baseball. He had signed the contract with the Crookston Pirates in the minor league, but didn't have the $64 to cover his room and board until he got paid. His dad was  no longer living and his mother was trying her best to support 4 children of which Wes was the oldest.

The businessmen of Clearbrook got together and gave Wes the $64 he needed and his career began with the Crookston Pirates on up to the Minneapolis Millers. He signed with the New York Giants in September of 1947. Wes continued with the Giants when they moved to San Francisco. His first major league game was against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

June 24, 1950 was one of his best single games. He hit three home runs and a triple to help lead the Giants 12-2 over the Reds. Wes Westrum was the finest defensive catcher in the National League during his career. He was the most proud of his 1950 season, which he considered his best year. In 140 games, he had just one error. To this day, Wes holds the record for least errors. Wes was a modest man and gave credit to the Lord when he said, "The Good Lord blessed me with a knack of getting rid of the ball in a hurry."

When Casey Stengel broke his hip in 1965, Wes took his place managing the Mets in 1966 and 1967 getting a career record for managing of 142-237. He managed the Giants in 1974 and 1975 with a 113-129 record. Following his managing career, he became a scout for the Atlanta Braves until he retired in 1992.

West spent his retirement years in Arizona and at Clearwater Lake. Wes spent a short time at the Good Samaritan Center and passed away of cancer on May 28, 2002 at the age of 79.


Wes was on the cover of the first Sports Illustrated magazine, August 16, 1954. Milwaukee Braves Star Eddie Mathews was at bat and New York Giants catcher Wes Westrum were featured in Milwaukee County Stadium. The magazine sold for 25 cents.



Getting Imges / Sports Illustrated



All information taken from: Main Street Now and Then





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