Marin Independent Journal
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
Section B, page 1
BUTCH WENSLOFF, World Series pitcher, dies at age 85
by Gary Klein
Charles Wensloff, a pitcher whose career included stints with the New York Yankees during two championship seasons in the 1940s, died Sunday at a San Rafael convalescent home. He was 85 and lived in Mill Valley.
Wensloff, known in his pitching days as Butch Wensloff, had a 2.60 earned-run average during three years in the Major Leagues, according to The Baseball Encyclopedia, Ninth Edition. He pitched in 29 games for the 1943 Yankees, 11 games for the 1947 Yankees and one game for the Cleveland Indians in 1948.
In the 1947 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Wensloff pitched two innings of relief in Game 6, allowing no hits. He shared the field that day with players such as Joe DeMaggio, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.
Before joining the majors, Wensloff pitched for the American Association Joplin Club in Missouri during the 1930s. In the '40s, his career was briefly interrupted by wartime service in Trinidad, said Helen Wensloff, his wife of 64 years.
Wensloff's professional baseball career ended when he threw out his arm, his wife said. The Indians sent him to the Mayo Clinic, where doctors advised him against surgery.
"They said 'Go home,' which he did," said Mrs. Wensloff.
Wensloff, who was born and raised in Sausalito, returned to Marin and became a shingler. He also started a Little League team called the Mill Valley Merchants.
In 1969, he was inducted into the Marin County Athletic Hall of Fame by the Knights of Columbus Hot Stove League.
"I'm not much of a talker," he said at the induction ceremony. "I just want to say thank you. It's a great honor."
In addition to his wife, Wensloff is survived by a son, Charles, of Maxwell, Colusa County; a brother, Frank, of Corte Madera; three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Wensloff was cremated and no services are planned, said Steve Mendenhall, a spokesman for Russell and Gooch Funeral Chapel in Mill Valley.