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Don Saner

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Donald Arnold Saner Sr.

Minors BR page

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First baseman Don Saner played eight seasons of minor league ball and won a AA batting title and two AA OBP titles.

Saner played quarterback in college in addition to baseball. He made his pro debut in 1953 with the Sherbrooke Indians (.228/?/.316 in 31 G) and Peoria Chiefs (.217/?/.267 in 19 G). With the 1954 Visalia Cubs, he improved to .299/?/.429 with 28 doubles. He was 6th in the California League in doubles. In '55, he hit .297/?/.405 for the Spartanburg Peaches, legging out 7 triples. He made the Tri-State League top 10 in both average and triples. In 1956, he hit .352 and slugged .611 in 28 games for the Keokuk Kernels before missing the rest of the year and all of 1957 while serving in the US military in Germany.

In 1958, Don returned to baseball with the Mobile Bears and batted .292/?/.402. He split 1959 between Mobile and the New Orleans Pelicans, hitting a combined .322/.435/.471 with 14 home runs, his only time with double-digit dingers. He drew 94 walks. He finished second in the Southern Association in average, behind Gordy Coleman, led in OBP (19 points ahead of Coleman), was 6th in walks (between Mickey Micelotta and Ernie Oravetz) and ranked 10th in RBI (79). Playing the outfield that year, he had 12 errors to only two assists. He hit .258/.379/.355 with 97 walks as Mobile's first baseman in 1960. He was third in the SA in walks behind Larry DiPippo and Chuck Coles.

While playing for the Little Rock Travelers in 1961, he hit .349/.461/.468. He also got his only appearance above AA, going 0 for 3 for the Salt Lake City Bees. He beat out Joe Christian for the batting title by 13 points, was 8th in walks and led in OBP (22 points ahead of Stan Palys). Following that season, he was acquired by the expansion Houston Colt .45's, but when he didn't make the big league club out of spring training, he retired. He later said "Well, I'd been bounced around and maybe was disillusioned."

After his baseball days, Saner was a longtime insurance salesman and executive. He died of complications from Lewy Body Dementia.

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