Al Spangler

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Albert Donald Spangler

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Biographical Information[edit]

Al Spangler, who played 13 seasons in the majors, was one of the original Houston Colt .45s and one of their best hitters in the early days.

Out of Duke University, he attended there immediately after Dick Groat had left. Signed in 1954, Spangler broke in auspiciously with the Milwaukee Braves in 1959, going 5-for-12. The next year, 1960, as a teammate of Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews, he appeared in 101 games. A third season with the Braves in 1961 yielded solid results again as a backup, hitting .268 over 68 games. Spangler got his chance at starting the next year thanks to the Colt .45s taking him the 1962 expansion draft. As an outfielder he stood out on poor teams during those first two years of the franchise. His .281 average in 1963 was great considering the team hit at a .220 clip overall.

Late in his career he became a back-up outfielder and pinch-hitter for the Chicago Cubs. In 1968 when he hit .271, the league hit .243. He was one of the oldest players in the league in 1971 (three years younger than Ernie Banks), when he went 2-for-5. During that year, he was moved back and forth by the Cubs between the active roster and a coaching position.

He managed the Midland Cubs in 1972 and 1973.

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