Lewis Albert Fonseca (January 21, 1899 – November 26, 1989) was an American first and second baseman in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox over a 12-year career. While not a power hitter, he hit for average and was a good contact hitter for most of his career. He topped the .300 mark six times, with his best season coming in 1929 with the Indians, when he hit .369 to win the American League batting title, after coming off a 1928 season in which he broke his leg. His success was short-lived, however, as he broke his arm in 1930, and a torn ligament in his leg prematurely ended his playing career.
Fonseca is perhaps best known as one of the first men to use film in analyzing baseball games and finding flaws in players. It is said that his interest with cameras began while shooting Slide, Kelly, Slide in 1927. As manager of the Chicago White Sox, he used film extensively. After retiring from playing the game, he was director of promotions for both leagues. Fonseca worked on World Series highlight films from their inception in 1943 through 1969, as an editor and director, and narrated the World Series films from 1949-'53 and 1955-'58 (Jack Brickhouse narrated the 1954 World Series film.) Television sportscaster Bob Costas wrote of Fonseca's narration: "[his] vocal stylings were somewhat less than mellifluous, but still endlessly entertaining." Fonseca was batting coach for the Chicago Cubs for many years, until quite late in life. His daughter Carolynn was a talented actress who worked mostly out of Rome, Italy.
Fonseca died in Ely, Iowa at age 90, one month after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit near his birthplace of Oakland, California.
By Dean Hanley
Page : 1