Enfield High School Alumnus, Baseball Standout Jim Spanswick Dies

July 5, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

ENFIELD, CT — Jim Spanswick, a left-handed pitcher who parlayed his tremendous success at Enfield High School into a four-year career in professional baseball, passed away recently. He was 83.

The 6-foot-2 Spanswick graduated from Enfield in 1959, having twirled three no-hitters, including a pair of back-to-back gems. He then signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox organization, two years after his older brother Bill.

At age 18, Jim Spanswick split his debut pro season with two Class D teams: the Waterloo Hawks of the Midwest League and the Corning Red Sox of the New York-Penn League. He posted a cumulative 8-7 record in 28 games, including 18 starts, and struck out 94 hitters in 112 innings.

Find out what's happening in Enfieldwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Over the next two seasons, playing in towns like Waterloo, Olean, N.Y. and Pocatello, Idaho, Spanswick had a combined 9-15 record in 52 games, 22 of them starts. He was converted to a relief pitcher in 1962 in the Pioneer League, making just four starts in 28 appearances.

The Washington Senators picked him up for the 1963 season and assigned him to the York White Roses in the Double-A Eastern League, the highest level he would attain. He appeared in 28 games, including seven starts, but was released after a 2-6 campaign.

Find out what's happening in Enfieldwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Nicknamed “Sparrow,” Spanswick averaged nearly 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings in his pro career, fanning 374 batters in 407 innings, but was beset by control problems. He issued 329 walks, hit 22 batters and uncorked 45 wild pitches.

In 1964, he began a stint playing in the Greater Hartford Twilight League. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, pursued higher education at Western New England College, and had extensive involvement in youth sports, where he coached American Legion baseball and other youth sports teams.

His son, Jeff, followed in his dad’s footsteps by excelling at Enfield High School, then went on to pitch at American International College. He was a Division II All-American, set a Yellow Jackets single-season record with an 11-1 mark in 1991, and was inducted into the Enfield Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Spanswick is survived by two sons, a grandson, two sisters and a host of other relatives, friends and teammates. A service to honor his life is scheduled for July 20 at 11 a.m. at the Old Thompsonville Cemetery on Pleasant and Lafayette streets.

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

Click Here: Flamengo soccer tracksuit