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Jim Spencer
First baseman
Born: July 30, 1947(1947-07-30)
Hanover, Pennsylvania
Died: February 10, 2002 (aged 54)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
September 7, 1968 for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
June 20, 1982 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
Batting average     .250
Home runs     146
Runs batted in     599
Teams
Career highlights and awards

James Lloyd Spencer (July 30, 1947 - February 10, 2002) was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball who spent 15 years in the big leagues and played for 5 different teams. Born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the left-handed Spencer was recognized for his excellent fielding ability, but also served in later years as a designated hitter.

Career overview

A graduate of Andover High School in Linthicum, Maryland, Spencer started his professional career with the Quad City Angels Class A club in 1965. He quuickly moved up the minor league ranks and was brought up by California briefly in 1968 and on a full-time basis early in the 1969 season.

Spencer is best remembered for his time with the Angels, when he made the All-Star team and won 1 of his two Gold Gloves at first base, but the majority of observers believe he also had a memorable career after that as well. Of all of American League first-basemen in the 1970s, only perennial Golden Glove winner George Scott was considered Spencer's peer at defense.

Spencer enjoyed only two complete seasons with the Angels; the rest were cluttered with injuries and distractions. But in both of them he put up solid numbers. Combined for the two seasons, he batted .256 with 30 home runs and 127 RBIs in 1021 at bats. He also had 261 hits in the time period.

After being traded to the Rangers in a deal involving 4 other players, Spencer had 3 straight seasons of hitting over .260. Many believed Texas was a good place for Spencer, but he was traded back to the Angels, and then the next day to the White Sox where he would have two above average seasons. In 1976, he hit 14 home runs with 70 RBIs and batted .253. He also marked his career high in hits (131) and stolen bases (6) that year. And in 1977, he hit 18 home runs with 69 RBIs. He also had two-8 RBI games that year.

Spencer's career high in home runs (23) came in 1979 with the Yankees, in a year that he only got 295 at bats. He only had 85 hits on the season. 41 of the 85 were for extra bases. His slugging percentage was .593.

While his offensive numbers were never jaw-dropping, Spencer's fielding was. In 1973, his fielding percentage was .999, with only 1 error in the 125 games he played at first base. The next year, he had only 1 error in 60 games at first base, a .998 fielding percentage. 1976 was just as astonishing as 1973. He played 143 games, and only had 2 errors throughout the season, turning 116 double plays, good for a .998 FP. His career FP was .995.

In his entire career, Spencer had 1227 hits, 179 doubles, 29 triples. He had 146 career home runs and 599 RBIs, ending with a .250 batting average. He scored 541 runs in his career.

Spencer died of a heart attack in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

See also

External links

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