Thursday, December 17, 2009
Daryl Spencer 1952-1963 Major Leaguer
Daryl Spencer played for the New York and San Francisco Giants, the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Reds. He also spent 1951 playing in Nashville while in the minors. Daryl gets a lot of credit for influencing baseball and how it is played in Japan.
Daryl sent me a great, honest note about his playing days, and his thoughts on the game today.
Showing a great sense of humor, Daryl notes, "I'm not a great fan of today's baseball. My first problem is that I live close to Kansas City, so I do follow the Royals some."
Concerning his time in the minors and relating it to today's game, he says, "I played on a class D team in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma that made fewer bad plays." He goes on to say, "Players don't bunt, hit behind runners and make many more mental errors than we did. I played 4 years in the minors, about average in the 50's, and learned how the game is supposed to be played. Realize, there were only 16 Major League teams then, and if you make mistakes like they do today, you'd be back in the Minor Leagues."
"I followed the Yankees mainly when Don Zimmer (a former teammate) was a coach for them. I used to go to KC when NY was there and sat on the bench during pre-game workouts. I got to know the players and thus I follow them. Of course Zimmer is long gone, but the only present day players that I know are the Yankees."
I asked him about his favorite player now, and Daryl said, "I guess Derek Jeter is my favorite player."
I also mentioned his time with the Hankyu Braves. Concerning his time in Japan, Daryl wrote, "I was an icon in Japan. Hit 36 & 38 HR's in my first 2 years there."