Spencer recalls magical ride of 1951 Giants season

From SABR member Nick Diunte at Examiner.com on February 22, 2012:

As one of the four living members from the 1951 National League champion New York Giants, former relief pitcher George Spencer can speak with candor about his playing career and the current state of baseball. My playing days are long gone, but the memories are still there. It’s a great game, it seems like it’s a shame it has gotten to where it has,” he said in during a January 2012 phone interview from his home in Ohio.

“Where baseball is today, I’m very disenchanted. … I see the little leaguers when they hit a game winning home run, they all gather at home plate and hit each other and smack each other and throw helmets in the air, and that’s little league,” the 85-year-old Spencer lamented. “Instead of it being big league down, the little league has gone to the big leagues. I see them in their uniforms and it looks like half of them are getting ready to go to bed, with their pants down over their shoes. It’s a sight to behold.”

Well before the advent of players celebrating on the field for every diving catch, stolen base or home run, Spencer was a two-sport star at Ohio State University, where he played quarterback for their football team. More than sixty years later, Spencer has no regrets over his choice of profession. “I played football and baseball. I had two quarters, one for football and one for baseball and neither one of them took!” laughed Spencer. “I picked the right sport anyway. I can still walk and get around fairly decent.”

Read the full article here: http://www.examiner.com/baseball-history-in-new-york/giants-pitcher-george-spencer-recalls-the-magical-ride-of-the-1951-season

Originally published: February 23, 2012. Last Updated: February 23, 2012.