Lionel Percival Rodgers
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 178 lb.
In June 1957, three years after Andre Rodgers and the year after Adrian Rodgers, Lionel Rodgers became the third member of his family to sign with the New York Giants. With Hastings in the Nebraska State League in 1957 (the same team for which Adrian had pitched a year before), the 17-year-old got off to a promising start with 42 hits in 127 at-bats (.331). Moving up to Class C for 1958, he played just seven games for St. Cloud (where André had previously starred) because of a fractured left leg.
Returning to Class D in 1959, Lionel bounced back for Artesia (New Mexico) in the Sophomore League, hitting .284 in 74 games. He followed up with a .302 mark – with 15 homers and 104 RBIs – in 131 games for Fresno in 1960. He was an All-Star in the California League (Class C) that year.
The catcher-infielder had the best shot among his brothers at joining André in the majors, especially if he'd continued to develop. He had hit .345 to lead the Arizona Instructional League and was slated to play Double-A ball in 1961. Tragically, he was killed in an auto accident in January of 1961 while at home in Nassau for the Christmas holidays. He was riding in an automobile which struck a wall. Thrown from the car, he was run over by another vehicle.
- "Lionel Rodgers Bat King, ERA Title to Brooks", The Sporting News, December 28, 1960, p. 37.
- "Lionel Rodgers Dies In Crash", Associated Press, January 11, 1961.