George Spencer Was Easy to Hit, Unless You Were Joe DiMaggio

George Spencer led an interesting life. While his baseball career didn’t amount to much and he found a career in metalwork, any one of a half dozen stories he could tell would sound like a tall tale if you heard them at a local bar.

“Sure, pal” you would say, trying to signal the bartender that you wanted to pay your tab. After all, George could have just told you how as a rookie he twice retired Joe DiMaggio when they faced off in the World Series. How about his first major league experience being a participant in three bench clearing brawls against the Philadelphia Phillies? Did you know he played in more games than almost any other player in his 1951 rookie campaign? Have you heard how New York Giants legend Mel Ott saw him at a tryout and begged him to join the team? Three no-hitters in high school?

Where’s that check? This guy can’t have any more stories, can he?

We’ve only covered baseball. Did you know George was a fourth stringer on THE Ohio State football team? And that he was promoted to the position of starting quarterback as a freshman after the team lost several games to begin the season? And that he then led them on a winning streak, but hung up his football pads because he just didn’t enjoy it as much as baseball?

The great part is it’s all true. Maybe I should buy this guy a drink.

For all his interesting stories, Spencer may have been one of the least effective pitchers portrayed in the 1952 set.