Dick Spalding

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dick Spalding
Personal information
Full name Charles Harry Spalding
Date of birth (1893-10-13)October 13, 1893
Place of birth Philadelphia, United States
Date of death February 3, 1950(1950-02-03) (aged 56)
Place of death Philadelphia, United States
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Northeast Manual Training School
Lighthouse Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1912 Philadelphia
1915–1916 Disston A.A.
1916–1917 Bethlehem Steel F.C.
1919–1921 Philadelphia Merchant Ship
1921–1922 Harrison Soccer Club 12 (0)
1924–1925 Fleisher Yarn 14 (0)
National team
1916 United States 2 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Dick Spalding
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 18, 1927, for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
July 12, 1928, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Batting average .299
Home runs 0
Runs batted in 25

Charles Harry "Dick" (or "C.H.") Spalding (October 13, 1893 – February 3, 1950) was an American soccer and baseball player. He played the first two games in the history of the U.S. national soccer team, as well as professional soccer for nearly fifteen years, primarily with teams in Pennsylvania. Spalding also spent two seasons in Major League baseball and was later a first base coach. The lifelong resident of Philadelphia, was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1951.


Club career[edit]

Spalding attended the Northeast Manual Training School in Philadelphia, where he was a multi-sport athlete. He then went on to play soccer with the Lighthouse Boys Club as well as several other local Philadelphia clubs. In 1916, when called into the U.S. national team, he was with the Disston A.A. In the fall of 1916, he signed with Bethlehem Steel F.C. of the National Association Football League (NAFBL). However, he injured his knee and did not play consistently until January 1917. In November 1919, he signed with Philadelphia Merchant Ship of the NAFBL. In 1921, he joined the Harrison Soccer Club of the American Soccer League (ASL). He then spent the 1924–1925 ASL season with Fleisher Yarn.

National team[edit]

In 1916, the United States Football Association (USFA) recruited a team, called the All-American Soccer Football Team, to represent the U.S. on a tour of Scandinavian countries. At the time, these countries and the U.S. were all neutral during the ongoing World War I. During the six game tour, the U.S. played two recognized international games, one on August 21, 1916 against Sweden and another on September 3, 1916 against Norway. There are disagreements about who scored the first national team goals. While the National Soccer Hall of Fame lists Spalding, other sources state that Thomas Swords scored an unassisted goal against Sweden.[1] After this tour, Spalding never played for the U.S. again.

He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1950.



In addition to his soccer career, Spalding was also a successful baseball player. In 1916, while a member of the U.S. national soccer team, he played in a baseball game against a Swedish baseball team from Västerås. In 1927, he signed as an outfielder the National League Philadelphia Phillies. In 1928, he moved to the Washington Senators of the American League. Spalding also spent time in the International League where he played for the Rochester Red Wings and the Buffalo Bisons.

First Base Coach[edit]

Spalding's friendship with Jimmie Wilson led to two stints as a first base coach. In 1934, Wilson hired Spalding as the first base coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1941, he was brought into the Chicago Cubs, again by Wilson, to become the Cubs’ first base coach.

Spalding died after a long illness in Philadelphia at the age of 56.

External links[edit]