Buddy Blattner

Robert Garnett "Buddy" Blattner (February 8, 1920 September 4, 2009) was an American table tennis and professional baseball player. He played five seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), primarily for the New York Giants. After his retirement as a player, he became a radio and television sportscaster.

Buddy Blattner
Second baseman
Born: (1920-02-08)February 8, 1920
St. Louis, Missouri
Died: September 4, 2009(2009-09-04) (aged 89)
Chesterfield, Missouri
Batted: Switch
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 18, 1942, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1949, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.247
Games played272
Buddy Blattner
Full nameRobert Garnett Blattner
Nationality United States
Medal record
Men's table tennis
Representing  United States
World Championships
1937 Baden Doubles
1937 Baden Men's Team
1936 Prague Doubles

Sports career

Table tennis

Blattner played table tennis in his youth, winning the gold medal in the men's doubles with James McClure at the 1936 World Table Tennis Championships.[1] The following year he won double gold at the 1937 World Table Tennis Championships in the men's team event and in the men's doubles with McClure.[2]


A graduate of Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Blattner started his Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the St. Louis Cardinals, making his big league debut in the 1942 season. Following a stint in the United States Navy, Blattner played for the New York Giants (1946–48) and Philadelphia Phillies (1949); he played primarily as a second baseman.


Blattner turned to broadcasting after his retirement as a player, teaming with Dizzy Dean on St. Louis Browns radio as well as nationally on the Liberty and Mutual networks, and on the televised baseball Game of the Week on ABC (1953–54) and CBS (1955–59). He also called games for the St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association in the '50s.

Blattner was replaced on CBS by Pee Wee Reese following a dispute with Dean. Blattner continued to broadcast baseball for the Cardinals (1960–61), Los Angeles/California Angels (1962–68), and Kansas City Royals (1969–75) as well as on NBC's coverage of the 1964 and 1967 All-Star Games.

Personal life

In 1962, Blattner founded the "Buddy Fund", a charitable organization that supplies athletic equipment to disabled and underprivileged children in the St. Louis area.[3] He was inducted into the U.S. Table Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.[4] On September 4, 2009, Blattner died at his home in Chesterfield, Missouri, from lung cancer, aged 89.[5] In 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, Blattner was a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.[6]

See also

  • List of World Table Tennis Championships medalists


  1. "ITTF_Database". Ittf.com. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  2. "Profile". Table Tennis Guide.
  3. "The Buddy Fund – Official website". Buddyfund.org. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  4. Boggan, Tim (1999). "Hall of Fame Profile: Robert "Bud" Blattner (1979)". teamusa.org. USA Table Tennis. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
  5. Buddy Blattner dies; ex-major leaguer was voice of the NBA's Hawks Archived September 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (September 4, 2009)
  6. Finn, Chad (December 9, 2020). "Al Michaels, best known for his 1980 'Do you believe in miracles?' call, wins baseball's Ford C. Frick Award". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 11, 2020.

Further reading

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