Gus Sandberg

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Gus Sandberg
Born: (1895-02-23)February 23, 1895
Long Island City, New York
Died: February 3, 1930(1930-02-03) (aged 34)
Los Angeles, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 11, 1923, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
August 8, 1924, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average .174
Home runs 0
Runs batted in 4

Gustave E. Sandberg (February 23, 1895 – February 3, 1930), whose last name was sometimes spelled Sanberg, was a catcher in Major League Baseball. He played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1923 and 1924 seasons. While playing in the minor leagues, Sandberg died of injuries sustained in an accidental fire.

Early life[edit]

Sandberg, from New York City, played semipro baseball as a young man. With the Empire City A.A. team from Ridgewood, Queens, Sandberg was teammates with future major league players including Jimmy Ring and Hugh McQuillan.[1]


In July 1915, Sandberg signed a contract to play with the New York Giants organization, and in early 1916 the team sent him to play with the Albany Senators of the New York State League.[2] In 1919, Sandberg joined the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League.[3] The next year, newspapers reported that several major league managers - most recently George Stallings of the Boston Braves - were interested in signing him.[4]

In 1923, Sandberg was with the Cincinnati Reds from May through October, but he only played in seven regular-season games. He appeared in 24 games with the Reds the next season, getting 9 hits in 52 at bats. He played his last major league game on August 8, 1924.[3] Returning to the minor leagues after the 1924 season, Sandberg was the catcher for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League between 1925 and 1929. He hit .289 with 7 home runs in 131 games in his last season with Los Angeles.[3]


While playing for the Los Angeles Angels in the Pacific Coast League, Sandberg siphoned fuel from his car into the car of his former manager and friend, Marty Krug.[5] Krug feared that Sandberg would be left without enough fuel to reach a gas station, so Sandberg lit a match to see how much fuel he had left in his fuel tank. The gas tank exploded, igniting Sandberg's clothing. Krug tried to help his catcher, and he sustained minor burns himself, but Sandberg suffered severe burns.[6] He died in a local hospital the next day.[7]


  1. ^ "Sandberg, catcher, dies". The New York Times. February 4, 1930. 
  2. ^ "Gus Sandberg joins the Albany club". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 22, 1916. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gus Sandberg Statistics and History". Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  4. ^ "Five major leaguers bidding for Sanberg". Reading Times. August 24, 1920. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ Snelling, Dennis (2012). The Greatest Minor League: A History of the Pacific Coast League, 1903-1957. United States: McFarland Publishing. p. 372. ISBN 978-0-7864-6524-8. 
  6. ^ "Catcher-hero dies of burns in blast". St. Louis Star. February 4, 1930. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Coast catcher dies of burns". Standard-Examiner. February 3, 1930. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 

External links[edit]