Staley was born in Brush Prairie, Washington on August 21, 1920. The right-hander was drafted by the Cardinals in 1942, then served in World War II in a U.S. Army evacuation hospital unit in the South Pacific. That helped delay his arrival in the majors, with him not becoming a full-timer until 1949 at the age of 28, a season in which Staley finished second in the National League in ERA at 2.73.
Relying on a sinker and knuckleball, Staley went 89-76 overall as a starter for some decent, but not great early-50's St. Louis clubs. He won 19 games in 1951 and was selected to the NL All-Star team in 1952 and 1953. Staley was traded to Cincinnati following the Cards' disappointing 72-82 1954 season.
After pitching for the Reds and New York Yankees, he joined the White Sox in 1956 and was converted to a reliever by Chicago manager and Cardinals Hall of Famer Marty Marion. With the Sox, Staley appeared in the 1959 World Series and eventually earned two more all-star nods. Overall, Staley went 134-111 with a 3.70 ERA over 15 major league seasons with six clubs.
After his retirement from baseball, Staley became a parks and recreation superintendent. Staley was a member of the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame and the Clark County Hall of Fame. Once a pitcher, always a pitcher, he was also inducted into the Washington State Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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