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A. Don Gile, on September 30, 1962

Nicknamed “Bear,” Gile signed with the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1955 after a collegiate career at the University of Arizona. It took him nearly five years to make it the Major Leagues, finally debuting on September 25, 1959.

Over the next three years, Gile appeared in 31 games split between first base and catcher.

For his career, Gile hit .150 with three home runs in 120 at-bats.

Before that final day of the 1962 season, Gile was mired in an 0-for-34 slump that had lasted all season.

1962 Topps Don Gile

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In the first game of the doubleheader against the Washington Senators, though, Gile collected a hit and drew a walk in four plate appearances to raise his seasonal batting average to .027.

In the nightcap at Fenway Park, Gile went hitless in his first three at-bats against starter Jack Jenkins as the teams entered the bottom of the ninth knotted at one run apiece.

Frank Malzone led off by popping out to third, and Jim Pagliaroni followed up with a walk. That bought up Gile, with the specter of a double play looming like a vulture just waiting for the corpse to stop twitching.

Instead of winking out, though, Gile marshaled all of his physical and mental baseball prowess into one final burst of glory and took Jenkins deep.

Game over.

Season over.

Career over.

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