Al Spohrer

From BR Bullpen

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Alfred Ray Spohrer

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 175 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Al Spohrer found a home with the Boston Braves, playing virtually all of his eight-year major league career with them. His position was exclusively catcher. Not normally a strong hitter, he had a .317 batting average in 1930, highest among the regulars on the team.

He was esteemed enough that the book Branch Rickey says Branch Rickey considered trading Frankie Frisch even-up for Spohrer prior to the 1934 season.

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture 2002 has a story which posits that Spohrer and Rogers Hornsby were good friends, with Spohrer trying to trick Hornsby and Hornsby ending up getting the last laugh. However, it's a humorous story of the sort that could well be apocryphal. The book Rogers Hornsby tells the same story.

Spohrer and Art Shires engaged in a boxing match at the Boston Garden in January 1930, one in which Shires knocked Spohrer out. The book Boston Braves has a picture of the two in 1932, and Shires is clearly four to six inches taller than Spohrer. The book Judge Fuchs and the Boston Braves has several pages on the match. It says Spohrer got back onto his feet at the count of eight.

The book Boston Braves, 1871-1953 relates an unusual triple play that Spohrer was involved in. Rabbit Maranville was the runner on first base while Heinie Mueller was on third base. Spohrer, the batter, hit a ball to the pitcher Burleigh Grimes. First Mueller was caught in a run-down, then Spohrer was tagged out between first and second, and finally Maranville was out while trying to score.

Spohrer also figured in one of baseball's most famous events - the time that Babe Herman supposedly tripled into a triple play, with Brooklyn legendarily ending up with three men on third base. Herman, in an article by Jim Murray in The Complete Armchair Book of Baseball says that Spohrer chased Dazzy Vance back to third base.

Spohrer played in Babe Ruth's last game in the majors.

In an old-timers game in 1939, he and another relatively young old-timer, George Kelly, were part of a team that beat older players such as Cy Young, Smoky Joe Wood, Walter Johnson, Tris Speaker and the $100,000 infield.

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