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#406 Al Spangler


Condition: Probably VG-EX, but could possibly be considered EX. The trivia answer is not rubbed off.

Trivia question: Which team lost 3 games in one day?

The answer given is the 1903 Dodgers, but according to Baseball Reference there is no record of the Dodgers ever playing three games in a day in 1903. I looked at a few seasons before and after and didn’t find any evidence of any tripleheaders.

A Brooklyn team (the Bridegrooms) did play a tripleheader once, but it was in 1890 and Brooklyn won all three games vs. the Pittsburgh Alleghenys.

So I guess we’ll never know where Topps got this question and answer from.

A few things about Al Spangler:

* Al Spangler is the definition of an average hitter. His OPS+ was exactly 100 for his 13-year MLB career. He had no power (21 career HRs in 2,616 plate appearances) but hit .262 and walked frequently enough to have a .347 career OBP.

* Spangler, mostly a left fielder, played parts of three seasons with the Braves. He was then picked in the expansion draft by the Houston Colt .45s, and was their best hitter by by OPS over the team’s dismal first two seasons in 1962 and ’63. He wasn’t spectacular, but by Houston standards a .283/.372/.387 slash line was outstanding. He was the only Colt regular with an OPS over 100 in 1963 (120).

* Al was with Houston until midway through the 1965 season, so he got to be a part of the first Astros team. He was then traded to the Angels, who had also just changed their name from the LA Angels to the California Angles.

* He was never a regular starter again, and he spent five seasons as a backup with the Cubs before retiring in 1971 at the age of 37.

* Spangler was a AA manager in the Cubs organization for two season in the 1970s, but that seems to be the end of his involvement in baseball. As of July 2018, Spangler is still alive and well at the age of 85.


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