Yankees Infield, Gehrig, Lazzeri, Koenig, and Joe Dugan
NORWOOD, Mass., July 9— Joseph A. (Jumping Joe) Dugan, who starred at third base for the famed New York Yankees teams of the 1920's, died on Wednesday in Norwood Hospital. He suffered from pneumonia and a stroke.
He was 85 years old.
Dugan joined the Philadelphia Athletics at 19 in 1917, and in 1922 was traded first to the Boston Red Sox and then to the Yankees. He played with the Yankees for seven seasons and took part in five World Series during the years of the ''Murderers' Row,'' with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
He played for Boston of the National League in 1929 and with Detroit in the American League in 1931 to complete his 14-year career.
Dugan got his nickname while playing with the Athletics as a an infielder because he left the team so often. ''I used to jump the club,'' he said in an interview five years ago. ''I didn't like the place or the fans. How many times? I stopped counting.''
In 1922, Dugan was traded by the Athletics to the Boston Red Sox. On July 23, 1922 he was sent by the Red Sox to the New York Yankees in a controversial deal. Red Sox owner Harry Frazee had been unloading his Red Sox players almost haphazardly, and Dugan's acquisition by the Yankees helped them edge out the St. Louis Browns in a tight 1922 pennant race. Because Dugan's trade occurred in the latter part of the season, and worried that teams might try to buy their way to a pennant during the season, Major league Baseball would later move up its trading deadline to June 15.
Dugan had his most productive season in 1923, when he hit .283, scored 111 runs, and led the league's third basemen in fielding percentage to help the Yankees win their first world championship. In a United Press International article, Dugan was proclaimed the hero of the 1923 World Series for his spectacular defensive performance as well as his timely hitting which produced 5 runs batted in. Dugan posted a .302 batting average in 1924 and, in a year end poll of major league baseball players, he was a near-unanimous selection as the best third baseman in the American League.
Yankees manager Miller Huggins named Dugan as his leadoff hitter at the beginning of the 1925 season. In August, he suffered a severely wrenched knee and had to miss the rest of the season. He posted a .292 batting average for the season and once again led American League third basemen in fielding percentage. Dugan was the starting third baseman on the 1927 Yankees, a team considered by many the greatest baseball team of all-time, although by this time Dugan was past his prime as injuries began to take their toll on his body. In August 1928, Huggins replaced Dugan at third base with Mike Gazella in an effort to get more offense from the lineup.After appearing in just 94 games, the Yankees gave Dugan his unconditional release in December of that year.
He signed a contract to play for the Boston Braves in 1929 and finished the season with a .304 batting average in 60 games. Dugan didn't play in 1930 but returned to play for the Detroit Tigers as a utility player in 1931. After playing in just eight games, he was released after playing his final major league game on May 26.
He was born in Mahanoy City, Pa., but lived mostly in New England and spent the last five years in Norwood. He will be buried Monday in Boston.