Gail Harris (baseball)
October 15, 1931|
|Died: November 14, 2012
|June 3, 1955 for the New York Giants|
Last MLB appearance
|May 30, 1960 for the Detroit Tigers|
Boyd Gail Harris (October 15, 1931 – November 14, 2012) was a Major League Baseball first baseman who played with the New York Giants and Detroit Tigers from 1955 to 1960. In 1958, Harris hit a career high 20 home runs with the Tigers.
Harris was born in Abingdon, Virginia, and was an athletic standout at now-defunct William King High School in Abingdon. He was drafted as an amateur free agent in 1950, and called up to the majors in the summer of 1955.
Harris hit .232 in 79 games as a rookie, connecting for 12 home runs and driving in 36 runs. His manager was the ferocious Leo Durocher.
Harris struggled in 1956, but rebounded with a solid season in 1957. Late in 1957, Harris achieved a minor distinction by hitting the last homer by a New York Giants player; the team relocated to San Francisco the following season. Harris also had a new destination, as he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in the off-season.
Harris enjoyed some success in the Motor City. Getting the chance to play on a regular basis, Harris flourished in the summer of 1958 for the Tigers. He smashed 20 home runs, collected 83 RBIs and finished with a .273 batting average.
Harris’ batting average dipped in 1959, as he hit .221 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs.
Harris played his last game in the majors on May 3, 1960.
Following his baseball career, he worked in insurance sales. Harris lived in Manassas, Virginia, and his son, Mark, played in the minors briefly and was a minor league instructor for the Kansas City Royals organization. Mark is currently the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals AA Affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, and was hitting coach for the 2014 Futures Game.
Harris died on November 14, 2012.