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WHO THE HECK WAS DOC CRAMER OF MANAHAWKIN
One of the first cross streets on Route 72 east coming off the Garden State Parkway is Doc Cramer Boulevard. If one takes the right hand turn it yields eventually to a Little League baseball complex also named for Doc Cramer. When I asked a family friend who was Doc Cramer, the response was, “Oh, that’s for Roger Cramer,” and the assumption was I must already know the rest.
Roger Cramer is one of those names we all think we have heard but just can’t seem to place the origin. Ocean County is filled with Cramers and Cranmers, and for most of my youth, I just assumed Cramer was a misspelling of Cranmer. However, Roger “Doc” Cramer was a real legend, a baseball legend of the first half of the twentieth century – born in Beach Haven in 1905 and died in Manahawkin in 1990. A center fielder and left handed hitter, Cramer played for four Major League baseball teams during the course of his career.
The famous sportwriter, Jimmy Isaminger, nicknamed Cramer "Flit", which was, at the time, the name of a popular insecticide, for Cramer’s great ability to judge fly balls; in other words, Cramer was death to flies. Indeed, Cramer led American League outfielders in putouts in 1936 and 1938.
A mainstay at the top of his team's lineup for many years, Cramer led the American League in at bats a record seven times and in singles five times. He hit over .300 eight times, primarily with the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox, and retired among the league's career leaders in hits (10th, 2705), games played (10th, 2239) and at bats (5th, 9140). One of the few major leaguers to play regularly in center field after turning 40, he also ended his career among the major leagues' all-time leaders in games in center field (3rd, 2031) and outfield putouts (4th, 5412), and ranked seventh in AL history in total games in the outfield (2142).
So the next time, you find yourself on 72 and see the Doc Cramer Boulevard sign, think of this snippet, and always, always think of me, Andrew Gonzales, when looking to buy, sell, or rent near or on the NJ Shore.
From your “Running Realtor” Andrew Gonzales...
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