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Harry Agganis

From Academic Kids

Aristotle George "Harry" Agganis (April 20, 1929 - June 27, 1955) nicknamed "The Golden Greek", was an American athletic star in two sports.

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Agganis was a star football player at Boston University, primarily at quarterback. After a sophomore season in 1949, when he set a school record by tossing fifteen touchdown passes, he entered the Marine Corps. Agganis played for the Camp Lejeune (N.C.) football and baseball teams. He received a dependency discharge from the Marines to support his mother and returned to college to play in 1951-52. Agganis became the school's first All-American in football.

Agganis set another Boston University mark by passing for 1,402 yards for the season and won the Bulger Lowe Award as New England's outstanding football player. Coach Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns thought he could be the successor to Otto Graham and drafted the college junior in the first round of the 1952 NFL draft, offering him a bonus of $25,000. Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey outdid Brown, however, and signed Agganis to play Major League Baseball for the Red Sox as a first baseman for $35,000.

Following his 1953 college graduation, he played with the Triple-A Louisville where he hit 23 home runs with 108 RBI and batted .281. He made his major league debut on April 13, 1954. Agganis had a modest rookie campaign, though he did lead AL first basemen in assists and fielding range.

In 1955, Agganis was off to a good start when tragedy struck. On June 2, he was hospitalized with pneumonia after complaining of severe fever and chest pains. Though he rejoined the Red Sox ten days later, he fell ill again in Kansas City on June 27 and was flown back to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he died of a pulmonary embolism. Harry Agganis was 25 years old. Ten thousand mourners attended his wake. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974. Gaffney Street, near the former site of Braves Field in Boston, was renamed Harry Agganis Way in his honor on November 11, 1995.


YEAR TEAM        AGE    G    AB    R    H  2B  3B  HR    HR%  RBI   BB   SO   SB  CS   AVG   SLG   OBA   OPS
1954 Redsox       25  132   434   54  109  13   8  11   2.53   57   47   57    6   3  .251  .394  .321  .715 
1955 Redsox       26   25    83   11   26  10   1   0   0.00   10   10   10    2   0  .313  .458  .383  .841 
     TOTALS           157   517   65  135  23   9  11   2.13   67   57   67    8   3  .261  .404  .331  .735 
     LG AVERAGE             518   67  137  21   5  11   2.15   63   59   57    5   4  .266  .389  .342  .731 
     POS AVERAGE            525   67  143  23   5  15   2.79   75   58   58    3   2  .272  .421  .344  .764 
YEAR TEAM           RC RCAA RCAP   OWP   RC/G   TB  EBH   ISO   SEC   BPA IBB HBP SAC  SF GIDP OUTS    PA POS
1954 Redsox         56   -5  -11  .460   4.37  171   32  .143  .258  .442   0   0   7   5   6   346   493  1B
1955 Redsox         15    1   -1  .523   6.64   38   11  .145  .289  .500   0   0   0   1   3    61    94  1B
     TOTALS         71   -4  -12  .471   4.71  209   43  .143  .263  .452   0   0   7   6   9   407   587 
     LG AVERAGE     70    0    0  .500   4.63  202   37  .124  .240  .432   1   3   6   5  12   407   591 
     POS AVERAGE    76    7    0  .541   5.07  221   43  .149  .261  .458   1   3   5   6  11   407   597 

HARRY AGGANIS LEAGUE LEADERSHIP RANKINGS

1954 AL TRIPLES T7TH 8; WORST OPS 9TH .715


Quote

  • "No longer are we foreigners. Thanks to Harry we are the Golden Greeks once more." Those were the words of Harry Agganis' mother two years after her son's death. They are not the exaggerations of a proud parent. They are the words of a Greek woman who saw. - Harry Agganis' legend lives on, by By Courtney Deveau, at The Daily Item of Lynn (http://www.thedailyitemoflynn.com/news/view.bg?articleid=6635&format=text)

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