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Image from Molise News

Player: Spognardi, Andy

Card: NO CARD AVAILABLE

Position: 2B, SS, 3B

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playerbio

"A player grows less valuable over the years, while a doctor improves with age." - Andy Spognardi

Andrea Ettore Spognardi (b. October 18, 1908 in Boston, MA – d. January 1, 2000 in Boston, MA) was a Major League Baseball infielder who played for the Boston Red Sox during the last month of the 1932 season, in which the Red Sox finished in last place, 54 games behind the league champion New York Yankees.

Playing for Boston College got Spognardi into the New York Times a few times; he doubled and scored the winning run in a 5-4 win over Fordham in a Patriots Day home game in 1929. This was a powerhouse team that recorded some lopsided scores: In May alone, they were 19-1, 14-1, and 14-0 over Boston University, Seton Hall, and Manhattan College.

He earned a few headlines and at the end of the 1931 season, he was elected captain of the team for 1932. Come May 22, 1932, shortly before his graduation, the Times had a subhead reading “Spognardi Leads Attack” after he drove in five runs against Manhattan College. In 1973-74, he became the third baseball player inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame.

Andy never played in the minor leagues before his first Red Sox appearance at 23 years old, when he substituted in a game they were losing 15-0 in Philadelphia. His first appearance in a professional game came on September 2, 1932, 0-for-1 as a late-inning replacement in the second game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics.

On September 9, Spognardi scored his first run and it was a big one. Inserted as a pinch-runner, he scored the game-tying run in the ninth. Boston went on to beat the Chicago White Sox in the 10th. He got his first hit on September 10, driving in a run.

Overall, In 17 games as a second baseman, shortstop and third baseman he handled 52 of 53 chances successfully for a fielding percentage of .981. He hit .294 (10-for-34), and 6 bases on balls raised his on-base percentage up to .400. He scored 9 runs and had 1 run batted in.

Following the 1932 season, infielder Andy retired from baseball in order to enroll in Tufts Medical School. He practiced medicine in the Boston, Massachusetts area for over half a century.

Spognardi died in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of 91.

(excerpted from SABR, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)

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