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Karl Spooner
Inducted in 2007

Karl Spooner

Athlete

Oriskany Falls native Karl Spooner took an excellent high school career as a baseball pitcher and turned it into a successful professional one. Signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers at eighteen years of age in 1950, Spooner made his professional debut the following year for Hornell in the PONY League. It was a stellar first season in which Spooner led the league in strikeouts with 200 and hurled a no-hitter on his way to a 10-12 record.

Moving up to Greenwood in the Cotton States League in 1952, Spooner impressed his manager and coaches so much that they promoted him to Elmira in 1953. Despite a 1-6 record there, Dodgers officials felt Spooner had something in his repertoire and moved him to Pueblo of the Western League. The league leader in strikeouts once again, this time with 198, Spooner tossed another no-hitter and finished with an 11-6 won-loss record.

In 1954, Spooner had his best minor league season yet. Pitching for Ft. Worth of the Texas League, Spooner amassed a record of21-9 with an astounding 262 strikeouts in just 238 innings pitched. He was promoted to the big league club that September and pitched shutouts in his first two major league games. In his first contest, he held the New York Giants, the eventual World Champions, scoreless en route to fanning fifteen of their hitters, including six in a row. In his next outing, he did not allow any member of the Pittsburgh Pirates to cross the plate, and he struck out twelve Pirates hitters. His total number of strikeouts in his first two games, 27, ranks second in Major League Baseball history only to National Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

Spending a full season with the Dodgers in 1955, Spooner went 8-6, with a record of5-1 in relief, and also pitched in two games in the 1955 World Series. His first outing in Game 2 saw him pitch three innings and fan 5 members of the New York Yankees. In his second game, Game 6, he suffered the loss when he gave up five runs in 1/3 of an inning. Sadly, even though the Dodgers would secure their only World Series title while residing in Brooklyn, Spooner's Game 6 outing would be his last in a major league uniform.

Due to arm injuries, Spooner would see limited action in 1956 in St. Paul, Minnesota and in 1957 in Macon, Georgia of the Sally League. He would be forced to retire after thirteen games and 60 innings pitched with Macon.

Spooner's major league career statistics included a 10-6 record in 31 games, 4 Complete Games, 3 Shutouts, 2 Saves, 105 Strikeouts and an Earned Run Average of 3.09. Spooner even batted .265 and had a 1.000 Fielding Percentage.