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Specs Toporcer

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George Toporcer born George Toporczer (Specs)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 165 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Specs Toporcer earned his nickname as the first major league position player to wear glasses on the field. He spent eight years, from 1921 to 1928, with the St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as a utility infielder. He was the team's regular shortstop in 1922 and had his best season at the plate, hitting .324.

After his major league days, Toporcer played in the minors for the Rochester Red Wings of the International League for seven seasons starting in 1928. He hit 31 home runs with the club in 1929 and 21 the next year. During the 1932 season, he took over as player/manager of the team, but he retired as a player and left the Red Wings after the 1934 season due to his failing eyesight. Overall, in 880 games with Rochester, he scored a team-record 628 runs and stole a team-record 113 bases.

After leaving Rochester, Toporcer managed several teams in the minors. He was the head of the Chicago White Sox farm system in 1949 [1]. In 1951, while managing the Buffalo Bisons, he became blind after a failed surgery to save his failing vision. In 1949 he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame.

Toporcer died at age 90 after a fall in his home.

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