Gale Wade

Galeard Lee Wade (born January 20, 1929) is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago Cubs in the 1955 and 1956 seasons.

Wade was originally signed as an amateur free agent pitcher by the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. He then was assigned to their Ponca City affiliate club of the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League in 1947.

As an 18 year old rookie, Wade had a split season record while building a 10-9 record in 28 pitching appearances and hitting a .318 average in 59 games as an outfielder.

After that, the Dodgers organization felt that Wade, with his swift speed, would be more valuable to the organization as an everyday player. He made the switch to outfield, where he spent the rest of his professional baseball career. Wade would go on to lead four different circuits in stolen bases during his minor league career and twice in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

Wade also played in the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Athletics and Milwaukee Braves minor league systems in all of part of fifteen seasons spanning 1953–1961. His most productive season came in 1955, when he posted a .292 average with career-highs in home runs (20), runs batted in (67) and stolen bases (67) in 120 games.

In addition, Wade played winter baseball with the Leones del Caracas, Navegantes del Magallanes and Indios de Oriente in Venezuela, where he built a fan base around him, earning the nickname Galgo (greyhound) for his flashy speed on the bases. In a four-season stint, he batted .304 and stole 44 bases in 163 games, and accompanied his pennant-winning Caracas to the 1953 Caribbean Series, where he batted .353.

Following his playing career, Wade lived and worked in Nebo, North Carolina, where he is a retired electrician and district manager for a rural electricity co-op.

By Dean Hanley

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