Taking Over for Ernie

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Andre Rodgers

Andre Rodgers was a shortstop and utility infielder who batted .249 over an 11-year major league career.

Andre Rodgers became the Chicago Cubs’ regular shortstop in 1961 when Ernie Banks moved to first base. He batted .266 in 1961 and .278 in 1962 with a career-high 44 RBIs.

Rodgers most important contribution came from his being the first player from the Bahamas to make it to the big leagues. Rodgers paid his own way to a tryout with the New York Giants, the team which ultimately signed him in 1954. After part-time appearances with the Giants in 1957 and 1958, he made the roster for keeps in 1959, batting .250 with six home runs and 24 RBIs.

Rodgers spent two more seasons with the Giants. Following the 1960 season, he then was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for Alvin Dark (who was named the Giants manager).

Before he could play for the Braves, Rodgers was dealt to the Chicago Cubs just before the start of the 1961 season in a swap that brought pitcher Moe Drabowsky to the Braves. Rodgers took over at shortstop for Ernie Banks, who moved to the outfield and then first base. As the Cubs’ starting shortstop, Rodgers batted .266. In 1962, he hit .278 for the Cubs with five home runs and 44 RBIs.

After the 1964 season, Rodgers was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Roberto Pena and cash. He played sparingly in his three seasons in Pittsburgh, batting .257 in only 158 games. He went to Japan to play for one season before retiring as a player.

One comment
  1. I remember a story Vin Scully told during a Dodger broadcast, probably the first time the Dodgers played the Pirates after Maury Wills was traded to Pitts. for the ’67 season. It goes like this…the first time the Dodgers played the Cubs after Banks was moved to 1st base, Wills, the Dodger shortstop, told Banks, “When you slow down, they move you to the corners.” When Wills went to the Pirates, they played him at 3rd base. The first time the Cubs and Pirates got together in ’67, Banks reminded Wills of what he once said, now that Wills was at a corner.

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