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Spook Jacobs

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Forrest Vandergrift Jacobs

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"I was the only rookie who ever drew Social Security." - Spook Jacobs, talking about how he spent a long time in the minors before he finally came to the majors at age 28

Known mostly for his speed, second baseman Spook Jacobs could steal a base and was a good fielder, but his obvious lack of power was a big drawback - he hit no homers in portions of three seasons in the majors. Despite his mediocre hitting statistics, he proved to be a terrific contact hitter - striking out only 4 percent of his total big league plate appearances, and only 22 times in nearly 600 plate appearances in his 1954 rookie season.

After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Jacobs was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. After eight years in their organization, he was selected by the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1953 Rule V draft following the 1953 season. He became the Athletics' Opening Day second baseman in 1954 and recorded 4 hits in his big league debut against the Boston Red Sox on April 13th. He hit .258 and stole 17 bases as a regular for the club that year but lost his job the next season, 1955, the Athletics' first in Kansas City, when Jim Finigan was moved from third base to second. After being dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates in June 1956, he appeared in his final 11 big league games with the Bucs. He continued playing in the minors through 1960, when he was player-manager of the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Overall, Jacobs spent 14 years in the minors, finishing with a career .300 batting average and only nine homers. He also played many years in the Caribbean, as well as playing semi-pro basketball in the off-season.

Away from the diamond, Jacobs had a love for stamp collecting and amassed a large and impressive collection of baseball-related stamps.

Jacobs and Joe Astroth threw out the first ball at Veterans Stadium for the game on June 18, 2002.

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