Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Don Lee Blasingame (March 16, 1932 – April 13, 2005) was a second baseman in Major League Baseball who played with the St. Louis Cardinals (1955-1959), San Francisco Giants (1960-1961), Cincinnati Reds (1961-1963), Washington Senators (1963-1966) and Kansas City Athletics (1966). Blasingame batted left handed and threw right handed. He was born in Corinth, Mississippi .
Nicknamed “Blazer”, Blasingame was a hustling everyday second baseman with four MLB teams in 12 seasons, but he was best known for becoming only the second American (after Wally Yonamine) to manage in Japanese Baseball.
A classic line drive hitter, Blasingame was also a skillful bunter and a fast and smart runner. In 1956, he started as a regular with the Cardinals replacing future Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst. In his career, Blasingame was particularly fast getting down the line, hitting into fewer double plays (one in every 123 at-bats) than anyone in major league history except Don Buford .
Blasingame enjoyed his best season in 1957, when he hit .271 and posted career-highs in home runs (8), RBI (58), runs (101), hits (176) and stolen bases (21). In 1958, he followed with .274, 19 doubles, 10 triples and 20 steals, and also was named to the National League All-Star team. In 1959, Blasingame hit .289 with 26 doubles, both career- highs.
After seven years shared with the Reds, Giants, Senators and Athletics, Blasingame finished his major league career in the 1966 season.
Opting to continue his playing career in Japan, Blasingame joined the Nankai Hawks in 1967, playing as a second baseman for three years until 1969, when he joined the team‘s coaching staff for the next nine seasons. In 1978, he was named manager of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, a tenure that lasted for just one season. Blasingame then managed the Hanshin Tigers for two seasons before returning to the Carp from 1981 to 1982. As manager for the two teams, he compiled a record of 180-208-28 (ties are played in Japanese baseball).
Blasingame died in Fountain Hills, Arizona, at age of 73.
- Five times, César Tovar and Eddie Milner collected their teams' only hit in a single game, a MLB record. Blasingame is the runner up, with four.
- July 13, 1962: Cubs pitcher Cal Koonce one-hits the Reds, a single by Blasingame, to win, 1–0.
- August 6, 1963: Yankees Stan Williams one-hits the Senators, giving up a double to Blasingame.
- August 20, 1963: Two weeks later, Blasingame single off the A's Moe Drabowsky the only hit for the Senators in a 9–0 loss.
- September 25, 1965: Twins hurler Mudcat Grant one-hits the Senators to win, 5–0. Blasingame's double in the 3rd inning is the only hit against Washington.
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