Rudolph Preston (Rudy) York

The Herald-Tribune
Cartersville, Georgia

February 12, 1970

Transcribed and submitted by: 

Rudolph Preston (Rudy) York, 56, who rose from the sandlots of Georgia and Alabama to become the pride of Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, died Thursday afternoon in a Rome hospital, following an unexpected illness.

York, a Cartersville resident who had been retired from Major League baseball approximately 20 years, had undergone surgery for lung cancer last November, but was thought to be coming along satisfactorily.  He was taken to Floyd County Hospital about 5 a.m. Thursday and died less than 10 hours later.

Survivors include his widow, Mrs. Violet DuPree York, Cartersville; two daughters, Mrs. Freddie Hines and Mrs. Clayton Pruitt, both of Cartersville; a son, Joe W. York, Jackson, Mississippi; two brothers, Lou York, Shannon, Georgia, and Rev. Buddy York, Carrollton, Georgia; two sisters, Mrs. Joe Scoggins and Mrs. Jack Campbell, both of Rockmart, Georgia; and seven grandchildren, Michael and Timothy Hines, and Lori and Tracy Pruitt, all of Cartersville, and Bobby Joe, Jeff, and Mary York; all of Jackson, Mississippi.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday from the chapel of Owen Funeral Home, with the Rev. James T. Hatcher officiating.  Interment was in Sunset Memory Gardens.

Pallbearers were Glenn Abercrombie, M.J. Webb, Ernest Cochran, Wofford Guyton, Hugh Guyton and Sammy Morris.

During his illness last fall, York was flooded with cards, letters, and calls from around the world, including messages from TV star Ed Sullivan, a former sports writer; and comedian Danny Thomas, wishing him a speedy recovery.

Born in Ragland, Alabama, August 17, 1913, York was a son of the late Arthur Wesley and Beulah Locklear York, and had been a resident of Bartow County approximately 40 years.  Since his retirement from baseball, he had worked here as an independent painting contractor.

York’s name was synonymous with baseball greats of the 1930s and 1940s, when he starred along side of outstanding Detroit Tiger baseball players such as Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, and Hall Newhouser.  He saw action in three World Series and four All-Star Games, and had a career total of 277 home runs.

York, a catcher and first baseman, led the American League in home runs in 1943, when he hit 34.  He was No. 35 on the list of all-time home run hitters, standing ahead of such stars as Roger Maris, Willie McCovey, Vic Werts, and Bobby Thomason.


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