Friday, October 22, 2010
Unpossible Autograph Friday- Charley Lau
Before I start the post, I want to clarify something about his name. I found it spelled Charley and Charlie at various places, but as far as I can tell, he spelled it Charley, so that's what I'm going with.
Charley played with the O's during two stints, from 1961-63 & '64-67, during his 11 season MLB career as a backup catcher. He is much better remembered for the fifteen seasons he spent as a highly successful hitting coach with the Orioles, A's, Royals, Yankees & White Sox after his playing career ended. He is credited with positively influencing the hitting careers of baseball greats like George Brett, Carlton Fisk, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire, and Harold Baines either through in-person instruction or because the hitters followed his "Absolutes" method to hitting.
Charley would likely have been able to share his successful thoughts about hitting to many more players but colon cancer cut Charley's time short; he died at age 50 in early 1984 after losing his long fight with the awful disease. RIP Charley.
Charley's son has continued the hitting coach tradition in his family and runs the website, lauhitting.com.