Woodson George "Woodie" Held was a shortstop/outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, California Angels and Chicago White Sox. He batted and threw right-handed. His last name was originally Heldt, but later changed it to Held due to confusion pronouncing his name.
Born in Sacramento, California on March 25, 1932, Held served as a batboy for the hometown Solons in the mid-1940s. Originally signed by the Yankees for a $6,000 bonus prior to the 1951 season, he made his major league debut on September 5, 1954. After spending almost all of his 6½ years with the Yankees in its minor league system, he was traded along with Billy Martin, Ralph Terry and Bob Martyn to Kansas City for Ryne Duren, Harry Simpson and Jim Pisoni on June 15, 1957 in one of the many deals made between the two clubs during the late-1950s. Even though he had been primarily a middle infielder, Held became the Athletics' starting center fielder as a rookie, hitting 20 homers.
His time with the Athletics lasted exactly one year, as he was dealt to Cleveland, along with Vic Power, for Roger Maris, Dick Tomanek and Preston Ward on June 15, 1958. For five campaigns beginning in 1959, Held was a regular in the starting lineup, first at shortstop before shifting to second base in 1963. He was the first Indians' shortstop to hit at least 20 homers in a season, achieving it in each of three consecutive years. He had possessed the team's career record for most home runs by a shortstop with 85 until he was surpassed by Jhonny Peralta on May 1, 2009. Held's 6½ seasons in Cleveland came to an end on November 1, 1964 when he was traded with Bob Chance to Washington for Chuck Hinton.