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Augie Galan

Augie Galan

Position(s):
2B, 3B, SS, OF, 1B
Born:
May 23, 1912
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
6'
Weight:
175 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-29-1934 with CHN

Galan was an injury-prone outfielder who had a good career despite the mishaps. He was the first everyday major leaguer to play an entire season without hitting into a double play, as well as the first to homer from both sides of the plate in the same contest (6/25/37).

Biography:
August John (Augie) Galan (May 23, 1912 - December 28, 1993) was a left fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1934 through 1949, he played for the Chicago Cubs (1934–41), Brooklyn Dodgers (1941–46), Cincinnati Reds (1947–48), New York Giants (1949) and Philadelphia Athletics (1949). Galan threw right-handed and began his career as a switch hitter. Starting in the latter part of 1943, he became left-handed hitter until the end of his career. He was born in Berkeley, California.

In a 16-season career, Galan posted a .287 batting average with 100 home runs and 830 RBI in 1742 games played. Galan played in three World Series, but his teams never won. He twice led the National League in stolen bases, yet had enough power that he was twice in the top ten in slugging percentage.

Originally a switch-hitting infielder, Galan was in the minors from 1931 to 1933. He spent the latter two years with the San Francisco Seals and was teammates in 1933 with Joe DiMaggio and Vince DiMaggio, both of whom he out-hit with a .357 batting average (although they had higher slugging percentages). He broke into the majors in 1934 with the Chicago Cubs, primarily backing up Billy Herman at second base.

He became the club's regular leftfielder the following summer, replacing Chuck Klein who moved to right when Babe Herman was traded away. That year, he hit .314 and paced the NL with 133 runs scored and 22 stolen bases as the Cubs won the pennant. He became the first full time player to make 649 plate appearances and not hit into a double play, though he did hit into a triple play.

In 1936, Galan was selected to the All-Star team, and he became the first Cubs player to hit a home run in the Midsummer Classic.

The following year, he swiped 23 bases, again leading the circuit. He became the first to homer from both sides of the plate in the same contest (6/25/37). 

After batting .304 for the Cubs in 1939, he missed much of the 1940 campaign after suffering a knee injury, and midway through the following season, he was dealt to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Augie was often injured (he broke his knee in 1940) and had a deformed arm from a childhood injury. His knee injury was what eventually made Galan give up batting from the right side of the plate. It did not seem to hurt him at the plate, as he hit over .300 with the Dodgers the next three seasons. After the 1946 season, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, for whom he hit .314 in his first season with the team.

Galan was released by the Reds after the 1948 season and split the next summer, his final year in the majors, between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Athletics. He then returned to the Pacific Coast League for two more seasons, this time with the Oakland Oaks, where he played with former Cubs teammate Billy Herman.

Galan managed the Oakland Oaks in 1953 and later was a member of the 1954 Philadelphia Athletics coaching staff. He spent 17 years as a minor league coach and manager for the Athletics organization.

Galan died in Fairfield, California, at 81 years of age.





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