Friday, October 28, 2016

#199 Don Blasingame

Known as 'Blazer' Don Blasingame was a hard-nosed, hustling infielder over two decades in the majors and Japan. He began his career with St. Louis and played for the Giants, Reds, Senators and Athletics. He caught a nice break in April of '61 when the Giants dealt him to the Reds and he went on to play in the World Series that year. It was his only postseason appearance. 

After 12 seasons stateside he went to Japan where he extended his career by playing three years then coaching and managing. He became the third American to pilot a Japanese team. His dugout career in Japan lasted through 1982.

In 1958 Blasingame saw his numbers slip a bit from the previous season but he made the NL All Star squad. It was his only All Star experience and he flew out to center pinch-hitting for Warren Spahn in the game. 

WikiFacts:  "For all those years Blasingame and his wife and children spent half the year in Japan and half in the United States. After it was all over, Blazer said living in Japan was a good experience. “We lived in an international community. The kids made friends from all over the world that they still hear from.”15 The Blasingame youngsters learned to speak fluent Japanese." -From his SABR bio

1 comment:

  1. As a kid whenever I saw that last name. I thought it was super cool.