A brilliant athlete and a New England favorite, Agganis was a baseball and football
star at Lynn Classical H.S. and Boston University, making All-American as a quarterback.
He signed for a reported $35,000 with the Red Sox and after only one minor league
season jumped to the majors. His death of leukemia during the 1955 season set Boston
hopes for the future back for several seasons. A good fielder who led AL first basemen
in assists in 1954, he had 11 HR in 434 at-bats in his rookie season and was hitting
.313 at the time of his death.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»April 19, 1954: On Patriot's Day in Boston, The Yankees sweep both games from the Red Sox. New York wins the morning game, 2–1, on Jim MacDonald's one hitter. Harry Agganis has Boston's only hit, a second inning bloop single. In the afternoon game, the Yankees top Mel Parnell, 5–0 behind Jim McDonald, as Mickey Mantle belts his first homer of the year.
»May 31, 1954:
In Game One against the A's, the Red Sox pound out 18 hits to win, 20–10. Jim Piersall and Milt Bolling each collect 4. Bill Henry completes the sweep with a 9–0 shutout in game 2. Harry Agganis drives in four runs with a home run and 2B.
»June 27, 1955:
Boston's young star 1B Harry Agganis dies of complications following a bout with pneumonia.
»November 11, 1995:
Gaffney Street, near the former site of Braves Field in Boston, is renamed Harry Agganis Way, after the former Boston University and Red Sox star who died during the 1955 season.