Luke Urban

Today’s post is courtesy of Uncle Carl.  He was looking through a box of random cards at a baseball card shop and found not one, but two copies of my Great-Uncle Lukey’s baseball card.  You might remember that I blogged about Lukey once before.  The subject of that post was Lukey’s relationship with Babe Ruth.  The baseball card’s story of Lukey ends in 1928.  After leaving professional sports, Lukey returned to his hometown of Fall River and coached high school sports.  The high school auditorium was named in honor of him.

I scanned his picture above and then used the scanner’s optical character reader facility for the first time to scan the information on the back, see below.  The scanner worked really well.  It only had problems with the old English characters that are part of the logo for the card’s manufacturer, The Sporting News.  The Sporting News was based in Saint Louis for years and years.  Recently it was acquired by some other publishing conglomerate and was moved to California.

Speaking of California, I think that I’ll send one of the cards to my folks.  I think that my mom would like to see it.  I just hope that she doesn’t throw it out like she did with my baseball card collection, many years ago.  😉

Louis John Urban
Height: 5′ 8″      Weight: 168      Bats: Right      Throws: Right
Born: Mar. 22, 1898, Fall River, MA
Died: Dec. 7, 1980, Somerset, MA

In 1921, the Buffalo All-Americans compiled a 9-1-2 record, good for second place in the young American Professional Football Association, the forerunner of the National Football League.  Luke Urban was a regular starting end for the All-Americans, playing in all 12 games and averaging over 20 yards per pass reception.  In the following year, Buffalo slipped to 5-4-1.  Urban saw only limited action, but had better than a 25 yard per reception average, catching 8 passes for 203 yards.  In 1923, Urban was still listed as a starter, but played a still smaller offensive role, with only 6 receptions the entire season.  That was to be his final year of professional football.  In 1927, Luke had his Major League baseball debut as a pinch hitter and reserve catcher for the 7th place Boston Braves.  He batted .288 in 35 games.  The following year, in an attempt to improve their standing, the Braves traded for 2 great Hall of Fame players, George Sisler and Rogers Hornsby. Sisler hit .340 and Hornsby batted .387 to lead the National League but the Braves came in 7th again.  Urban managed only .176 in 15 games, and never returned to Major League sports.

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