Aristotle George (Harry) Agganis (Greek: Αριστοτέλης Γεώργιος Αγγάνης) (April 20, 1929 – June 27, 1955), nicknamed "The Golden Greek", was a former American first baseman and college football star who played two seasons with the Boston Red Sox of the American League (1954–1955), after passing up a potential professional football career.
Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Agganis first gained notice as a college football player at Boston University, becoming the first person in school history to be named All-American. He passed a professional career with the Cleveland Browns in order to play his favorite sport, baseball, close to his hometown. Agganis was signed to a bonus baby contract, and after one season playing minor league baseball, Agganis became the starter at first base for the Red Sox.
In 1955, Agganis became gravely ill early in the season and was hospitalized for two weeks for pneumonia. He rejoined the Red Sox for one week before being rehospitalized with a viral infection. After showing some signs of recovery, Agganis died of a pulmonary embolism on June 27. Agganis' sudden death is considered one of the greatest tragedies to hit Boston's sporting community.
By Dean Hanley
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