March 20, 1915|
South Portsmouth, Kentucky
|Died: January 9, 1983
Kinston, North Carolina
|June 8, 1940, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1949, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Runs batted in||575|
|Career highlights and awards|
Stanley Orville Spence (March 20, 1915 – January 9, 1983) was a Major League Baseball center fielder who played from 1940 through 1949 for the Boston Red Sox (1940–41,1948–49), Washington Senators (1942–47) and St. Louis Browns (1949). Spence batted and threw left-handed. He was born in South Portsmouth, Kentucky.
A part-time player for the Boston Red Sox during two years, Spence played his first full-season for the Washington Senators in 1942 and he responded ending third in the American League batting race with a .323 average behind Ted Williams (.356) and Johnny Pesky (.331). His most productive season came in 1944, when he hit .316 and posted career-highs with 18 home runs and 100 runs batted in. After serving in World War II in 1945, he returned to the Senators a year later and hit a career-high 50 doubles with 10 triples and 16 home runs. Spence did a second stint with Boston and ended his majors career with the St. Louis Browns. A four-time All-Star in 1942, 1944, 1946 and 1947, he also was considered in the MVP vote in 1942 and from 1945 to 1947.
Spence hit a pivotal single in the 1947 Major League All-Star Game at Wrigley Field. Prior to his at-bat, former teammate Bobby Doerr singled, stole second, and then took third on pitcher Johnny Sain's errant pickoff attempt. Spence's pinch single resulted in the final margin of 2–1.
In a nine-season career, Spence was a .282 hitter with 95 home runs and 575 RBI in 1112 games.
Spence died in Kinston, North Carolina, at age 67.
- List of Major League Baseball annual triples leaders
- List of Major League Baseball single-game hits leaders