Leon Lamar Wagner
(May 13, 1934 - January 3, 2004) was an American left fielder
in Major League Baseball
who played with the San Francisco Giants
(1958–59, 1969), St. Louis Cardinals
(1960), Los Angeles Angels
(1961–63), Cleveland Indians
(1964–68) and Chicago White Sox
(1968). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee
, Wagner graduated from Tuskegee University
. He was affectionately known as "Daddy Wags"
during his playing days.
In a 12-season career, Wagner was a .272 hitter
with 211 home runs
and 669 RBI
in 1352 games
Wagner was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on June 22, 1958. A solid line-drive hitter and colorful player, in his rookie year Wagner compiled a .307 batting average with 13 home runs in 74 games. With a congested outfield
that included Willie Mays
, Felipe Alou
, Orlando Cepeda
and Bill White
, he was traded to the Cardinals after the 1959 season.
Wagner played a reserve role for St. Louis in 39 games and hit four home runs. Nevertheless, one of them was a notable one; he entered the major league record books by hitting the first home run ever at Candlestick Park
on April 12, 1960, providing the only Cardinals run during a 3-1 loss against his former Giants team.
Traded to the expansion Angels in 1961, Wagner played his first regular season. He responded, hitting .280 with 28 home runs and 79 RBI in 133 games. His most productive season came in 1962, when he blasted 37 homers (third... Read More