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Frenchy Bordagaray
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Baseball Player
    (January 3, 1910-April 13, 2000)
    Born in Coalinga, California
    Birth name was Stanley George Bordagaray
    Outfielder/third baseman for the Chicago White Sox (1934), Brooklyn Dodgers (1935-36,1942-45), St. Louis Cardinals (1937-38), Cincinnati Reds (1939) and New York Yankees (1941)
    .283 batting average
    14 home runs
    270 RBIs
    Appeared in the films 'The Prisoner of Shark Island' (1936) and 'Whistling in Brooklyn' (1944)
    He was nicknamed 'Frenchy' for his last name, which was actually Basque in origin.
    He was remembered more for his colorful antics (such as taking the field sporting a monocle or holding a foot race against a horse) than his playing.
    He created a mini-scandal when he showed up at spring training sporting a mustache (1936), making him the first player with facial hair since 1914.
    After a few months, manager Casey Stengel ordered him to shave, declaring 'If anyone's going to be a clown on this club, it's going to be me.'
    Branch Rickey said, 'He's either the greatest rotten third baseman in baseball or the rottenest great third baseman. But he's never in between.'
    His baseball career ended after he was suspended for the remainder of the season after spitting tobacco on an umpire while managing the Greenville Spinners of the South Atlantic League (1947).
    His main post-baseball job was buying land to develop into cemeteries.
    He lettered in four sports at Fresno State College.
    As player-manager of the Trois-Rivieres Royals of the Canadian-American League, he won both the MVP and Manager of the Year awards (1946).
    When Oakland A's owner Charlie O. Finley held a 'mustache day,' Bordagaray was invited to serve as master of ceremonies.
    After moving to Ventura, California, he supervised youth sports and recreation programs.
    He said, 'Baseball has too many serious men and not enough comics.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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