Buff Biographies: Rip Repulski

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Former Houston Buffs outfielder Eldon John “Rip” Repulski (6’0″, 195 lb.) (BR/TR) was born October 4, 1928 in Saux Rapids, Minnesota. Straight out of high school at the age of 18, Rip began his 7 season minor league (1947-52, 1961) and 9 year big league (1953-61) careers with Class D West Frankfort, Illinois in 1947, although he did continue his higher education at St. Cloud State University near his home town during the off-season.

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Rip Repulski had a career minor league batting average of .290 with 101 HR and a career MLB mark of .269 with 106 HR – not bad for a guy with good speed and an adequate arm as a center fielder.

Rip’s two seasons as a Buff were both limited by the parent Cardinals desire to push him up through the system at a speedy basis. He arrived in Houston late in the 1950 season, coming up from Class A Columbus, Georgia in time to play 37 games and hit .256 with 2 HR for the ’50 AA Buffs. The following year, Repulski played center field for the ’51 Buffs only long enough to hit a measly .217 with no HR before the Cards moved him up to AAA Columbus, Ohio by a need or design that had little to do with his actual performance on the field.

Rip Repulski played 4 MLB seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (1953-56), 2 years with the Philadelphia Phillies (1957-58), 2 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1959-60), and 2 years with the Boston Red Sox. That Dodger hitch allowed Rip to pick up a World Series ring with the 1959 Los Angeles club, but I would assess his best season as having been 1954 when he hit .283 on the back of 19 HR and 79 RBI for the Cards.. He also hit 23 HR for the 1955 St. Louis club, but his numbers were down in other areas.

As a kid,  I recall that we Buff fans got a pretty breezy volume of writer’s ink on the coming of Rip Repulski and what he could mean to the team’s Texas League chances. He simply wasn’t here long enough to do very much and, while he was here, he didn’t do anything he could write home about.

Such was the often experienced life span of minor league fan hope back in the day.

Rip Repulski passed away in Waite Park, Minnesota on February 10, 1993 at age of 64.

R.I.P., Rip.

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One Response to “Buff Biographies: Rip Repulski”

  1. Anthony Cavender Says:

    I believe Rip Repulski (what a great name for a ballplayer!) was oe of the Polish Falcons who played the outfield together with the Cardinals –along with Ray Jablonski and a fellow named Musial.

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