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Spider Jorgensen

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John Donald Jorgensen

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Third baseman Spider Jorgensen of the Brooklyn Dodgers made his major league debut on the same day that his famous teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. He was a 27-year-old rookie, and 1947, which was a pennant-winning season for the Dodgers, was to be Jorgensen's only season as a regular. In the off-season, he hurt his arm, and while he hit well in 31 games in 1948, he managed to get into fewer than 150 games in the majors after his 1947 season.

Jorgensen had previously played with Robinson in Montreal in 1946. Spider's pro career had started in 1941 but was interrupted by the war. He got his chance with the Dodgers in 1947 due to injuries to Cookie Lavagetto and Arky Vaughan, both of whom were also ageing.

Billy Cox replaced him as the Dodgers regular third baseman in 1948.

Jorgensen appeared in both the 1947 World Series and the 1949 World Series.

He finished out his major league career in 1950 and 1951 with the New York Giants, who won the pennant in 1951, but they traded Jorgensen to the Oakland Oaks in midseason. 1951 was the rookie year of Willie Mays on the Giants.

Jorgensen continued to play several years for Oakland in the 1950s. After his playing days he was a scout until his death, and was once named the Cubs' West Coast scout of the year. He signed Ricky Nolasco, Mark Grace and Damon Berryhill.

Jorgensen managed the 1960 Great Falls Electrics, 1961 Artesia Dodgers, 1962 St. Petersburg Saints and 1969 Winnipeg Goldeyes.

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