Bruce Ogrodowski

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Ambrose Francis Ogrodowski

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bruce Ogrodowski was the brother of Joe Ogrodowski. Bruce played two seasons in the majors, but really found a home with the San Francisco Seals, with whom he played from 1941-1947 as part of a 16-season minor league career. Lefty O'Doul managed the Seals all seven years that Bruce was there.

Bruce was born in Hoytville, PA, in north-central Pennsylvania. When he hit .298 for the Columbus Red Birds in 1935, that got him a serious chance with the big league club, and he was on the St. Louis Cardinals team for all of 1936 and 1937, appearing in at least 90 games as a catcher each year. Frankie Frisch was the manager both years, and the team finished over .500 both seasons. In 1936, Spud Davis was the regular catcher, but in 1937 Spud was gone and Bruce became the regular. The young Mickey Owen was the backup, and became the starter the following year.

Bruce was one year older than teammate Johnny Mize and the same age as teammate Joe Medwick.

Thereafter he went on to a long minor league career, finishing up as a player in 1951. He was a player-manager in 1949-1951 and a manager in 1952 in the minors.

Although Bruce never appeared in a World Series, he did face Joe DiMaggio in Joe's first spring training game in a New York Yankees uniform (on March 17, 1936). [1]. Joe, of course, also played for the Seals, but did so in the 1930s while Bruce did so in the 1940s.

In another story involving a DiMaggio, Dizzy Dean supposedly once bet Vince DiMaggio (in 1937) that he could strike him out four times in a row. When Vince hit a foul pop-up, Dizzy yelled "drop it!" to Ogrodowski, who did. and Dizzy proceeded to then get the strikeout. [2]

A SABR article indicates that Bob Feller's professional debut was in an exhibition game against the Cardinals in 1936, and his first pitch was a strike to Bruce. Bruce bunted for an out on the next pitch and then Feller struck out Leo Durocher. [3]

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1949 Salinas Colts/ Potros de Tijuana Sunset League 58-68 6th St. Louis Browns none
1950 Marshall Browns East Texas League 88-46 2nd St. Louis Browns League Champs
1951 Wichita Falls Spudders Big State League 56-66 -- St. Louis Browns -- replaced by Cecil McClung (10-16) on August 11
Aberdeen Pheasants Northern League 5th St. Louis Browns replaced Jim Post on August 23
1952 Aberdeen Pheasants Northern League 63-62 6th St. Louis Browns

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