The Post War United States Russell Guy Sullivan

Russell Guy Sullivan

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6′ 0″, Weight 196 lb.
  • High School Falmouth (VA) High School
  • Debut September 8, 1951
  • Final Game May 16, 1953
  • Born February 19, 1923 in Fredericksburg, VA USA
  • Died November 2, 2013 in Fredericksburg, VA USA

Biographical Information

Outfielder Russ Sullivan was acquired by the Detroit Tigers before the 1949 season from the Danville Leafs of the class C Carolina League. In 1948, his first season in pro baseball, Sullivan had hit for a .335 average along with leading the league in two categories, home runs with 35 and RBIs with 129 for Danville, plus being chosen for the All-Star team.

Russ had three more good years, in 1949 with the Williamsport Tigers of the class A Eastern League, hitting .294 with 14 homers and in 1950 with the same club, he hit at a .317 clip with 25 round-trippers and made the All-Star team.

Sullivan spent his fourth year in the minors with the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association, hitting .341 along with 11 home runs and 88 RBIs in 120 games. The call he had been waiting for came from Briggs Stadium early in September of 1951 and Russ made his big league debut with the Detroit Tigers on September 8th. This was the first of three chances for Russ to show his stuff. In 1951 he hit just .192 with 1 homer in 7 games. Then, in 1952, he had a 15-game stint with the big leaguers, hitting .327 with 3 home runs. In 1953, he appeared in 23 games for the Detroit club, hitting .250. This wound up Sullivan’s major league run with a .267 average in 45 games and 5 home runs with 12 RBIs.

Russ had also spent parts of his three up-and-down years (1951-1953) with the Williamsport Tigers, Buffalo Bisons and the Little Rock Travelers with just average success. He came back with the Little Rock club in 1954 with a .333 average and 17 round-trippers, appearing in 127 games. Sullivan had a good split season in 1955. He hit for a combined .306 average with 32 home runs and 112 RBIs for the Portland Beavers and the Columbus Jets. Russ also became only the second player in International League history to hit three home runs in a game twice in a season, in 1955.

Russ spent ten seasons in pro baseball altogether, finishing out his minor league time with the Columbus and Buffalo teams in 1956 and 1957 at the age of 34. He showed a .310 career hitting average and 186 home runs while appearing in 1,251 games for his ten years of play.

His fans in Stafford called him “rabbit”.

Sullivan retired in his hometown of Fredericksburg, VA, where he was a building contractor. He died there in 2013.