Daryl Dean Spencer (July 13, 1928 – January 2, 2017) was an American professional baseball player and infielder who played shortstop, second base and third base in Major League Baseball between 1952 and 1963 for the New York and San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. On April 15, 1958, he hit the first home run in San Francisco Giants' history in an 8–0 victory over the Dodgers. He threw and batted right-handed and was listed as 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and 185 pounds (84 kg).
|Born: July 13, 1928|
|Died: January 2, 2017 (aged 88)|
|MLB: September 17, 1952, for the New York Giants|
|NPB: 1964, for the Hankyu Braves|
|MLB: July 11, 1963, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|NPB: 1972, for the Hankyu Braves|
|Runs batted in||428|
|Runs batted in||391|
Spencer was a native and longtime resident of Wichita, Kansas, graduating from East High School and attending Wichita State University. He signed with the Giants in 1949 and, in his first full MLB season, 1953, he started a combined 108 games at three infield positions, hitting 20 home runs, a career high. But he batted only .208, then spent 1954 and 1955 in military service.
Spencer's peak years came between 1956 and 1960 as the Giants' regular shortstop (1956–1958) and second baseman (1959), then as the Cardinals' starting shortstop in 1960. He averaged 148 games played over those five years, with 70 total home runs. His Opening Day 1958 homer, hit at San Francisco's Seals Stadium against the Dodgers' Don Drysdale, a future Baseball Hall of Famer, came in the fourth inning; the solo shot made the score 3–0 at the time. The contest was the first-ever in California for the Giants and Dodgers after each team had moved from New York City during the offseason.
Spencer led National League shortstops in errors committed in 1957 and 1958. He reverted to a utility role during his final three MLB seasons. Over all or parts of ten big league seasons, Spencer appeared in 1,098 games. His 901 hits included 145 doubles, 20 triples and 105 homers. He was credited with 428 runs batted in and batted .244 lifetime. He then played for the Hankyu Braves in the Pacific League in Japan between 1964 and 1972. His pro baseball career included 20 seasons spanning 24 years. He was inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.
Spencer died on January 2, 2017, at the age of 88.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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