CUMMING, GA. -- Luke Appling, 83, the Baseball Hall of Famer who was best remembered for a solid .310 lifetime batting average, died of an aneurysm Jan. 3 at Lakeside Community Hospital.
Lucius Benjamin Appling Jr., known as "Old Aches and Pains," played shortstop for the Chicago White Sox from 1930 to 1950. He played in 2,422 major league games and collected 2,749 hits.
His finest season came in 1936, when he led the American League with a .388 batting average -- the highest average ever for a shortstop -- and drove in 128 runs. He narrowly missed his second AL batting title in 1940, when he hit .348, four points behind Joe DiMaggio. But he did get another batting championship in 1943, hitting .328.
In 19 of his 20 big-league seasons, he hit over .300. He holds the major league record for most years at shortstop, with 20. He also played at third base, second and first.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964.
He managed the Kansas City Athletics for 40 games in 1967.
In his later years, Mr. Appling became a fixture at old-timers games and at the training camp of the Atlanta Braves, for whom he worked as a minor-league hitting instructor. At 75, the great singles hitter thrilled the crowd at a 1982 old-timers game in Washington, slamming a home run off Warren Spahn.
"It's impossible to view highlights of great White Sox teams without seeking number 4, Luke Appling," said Rob Gallas, White Sox senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting.
Mr. Appling was born in High Point, N.C., and raised in Atlanta. He earned his nickname, "Old Aches and Pains," by consistently complaining to teammates how awful he felt, moments before excelling on the field.
Survivors include his wife, Fay Dodd Appling; a son; two daughters; a brother; three sisters; and six grandchildren.