Hank Leiber Collection (Steam Pump Ranch)

Hank Edward Leiber was born January 17th, 1911 and was a celebrated professional baseball player (New York Giants and Chicago Cubs) during the 1930’s that ended up living at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley and building the first neighborhood in the town (Oro Valley Country Club). Leiber was also a key figure in the development of the 49ers ranch in East Tucson and made tremendous contributions to Southern Arizona during his lifetime.

From Wikipedia: Leiber batted just .241 with the Giants in 1934.[1] The following season, he broke out, hitting .331 with 22 home runs and 107 runs batted in.[1] He finished 11th in the 1935 National League Most Valuable Player Award voting; this would remain his best season in the majors.[2][4] Leiber was a hold-out the following spring. He eventually played in 101 games, but his numbers dropped and he only batted .279.[1] Leiber platooned with Jimmy Ripple, who played in the games Leiber did not play.[5]

Leiber is remembered for hitting one of the longest fly ball outs in major league history. On October 2, 1936, during Game 2 of the 1936 World Series at the Polo Grounds, Leiber hit a long fly ball to deep, center field that traveled an estimated 490 feet from home plate, before being caught by Joe DiMaggio for the final out of the game.[6][7]

Leiber had a tendency to crowd the plate while hitting.[8] During spring training in 1937, he was beaned by one of the fastest pitchers in history, Bob Feller. Leiber suffered a concussion and was bothered by dizziness for the rest of the season.[9] However, he eventually recovered enough to play in the 1937 World Series, hitting for a .364 average in three games.[10]

Leiber was named to the All-Star team in 1938. That December, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, and he responded with two good seasons — hitting over .300 in 1939 and 1940 and being named to his second All-Star team.[1]

On June 23, 1941, Leiber was beaned again, this time by Cliff Melton. He missed the rest of the season and was traded back to the New York Giants. He did play in 1942 but suffered a calf injury, and his production suffered. With World War II going on, Leiber went back to his home in Arizona. He did not return to the majors when the war ended.[11]

In a 10-year major league career, Leiber played in 813 games, accumulating 808 hits in 2,805 at bats for a .288 career batting average along with 101 home runs, 518 runs batted in and an on-base percentage of .356.[1] He retired with a .974 fielding percentage.[1]

We have a very large collection of original photos, autographs, and memorabilia from Hank Leiber’s estate that we hope to have displayed in Tucson.

Price: Not Currently For Sale

One thought on “Hank Leiber Collection (Steam Pump Ranch)”

  1. Hello…discovered this wonderful stash of Hank Leiber memorabilia. I see that it’s not for sale, which is alright.
    I’m inquiring for Hank’s granddaughter, Leslie Leiber Rivera. She and her husband collect Hank’s career documentation of course. They have amassed a tremendous amount of collectibles and history on him.
    Just curious as to the origin of this collection. We thought it may belong to Oro Valley Historical Society…
    Would you mind sharing the origins, please ?
    She is not pusuing purchase unless offered for sale in future.
    Thank you….
    Lannie Hartman…
    Aunt of Leslie Leiber Rivera

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *