Augie Galan

August John (Augie) Galan (May 23, 1912 – December 28, 1993) was a left fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1934 through 1949, he played for the Chicago Cubs (1934–41), Brooklyn Dodgers (1941–46), Cincinnati Reds (1947–48), New York Giants (1949) and Philadelphia Athletics (1949). Galan threw right-handed and began his career as a switch hitter. Starting in the latter part of 1943, he became left-handed hitter until the end of his career. He was born in Berkeley, California.

In a 16-season career, Galan posted a .287 batting average with 100 home runs and 830 RBI in 1742 games played. In 1937, Galan was the first player in Major League Baseball to hit switch-hit home runs in a game. Galan played in three World Series, but his teams never won. In 1935, he became the first full-time player to make 649 plate appearances and not hit into a double play, though he did hit into a triple play. Augie was often injured (he broke his knee in 1940) and had a deformed arm from a childhood injury. His knee injury was what eventually made Galan give up batting from the right side of the plate.

After leaving the Athletics in 1949, the Berkeley-born Galan played two more seasons with the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League, then managed the club to a 77-103 record (seventh place) in 1953. He joined the Philadelphia Athletics coaching staff in 1954, and went on to spend 17 years as a minor league coach and manager in the Athletics' organization.

Galan died in Fairfield, California, at 81 years of age.

By Dean Hanley

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