June 23, 1917|
January 4, 2005 (aged 87)|
Greensboro, North Carolina
John Doward Sanford (June 23, 1917 – January 4, 2005) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Washington Senators. Listed at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and 195 pounds (88 kg), Sanford batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Chatham, Virginia.
Basically a line-drive hitter and a fine defensive player, Sanford was one of many ballplayers who interrupted their careers to serve during World War II. He signed with the Senators out of the University of Richmond, where he lettered in baseball, basketball, football and track.
Sanford played for the Washington team in the 1940 and 1941 seasons as a backup for Zeke Bonura and Mickey Vernon at first base. He served in the US Air Force from 1941 to 1946, playing and coaching on baseball teams there, then returned to major league action briefly in 1946.
In a three-season career, Sanford was a .231 hitter (32-for-153) with 13 and 11 in 47 games, including four doubles and four triples without home runs or stolen bases.
Following his playing career, Sanford earned a master's degree and Ph.D. From 1956 to 1966, he worked as a professor and the chairman of the Department of Health and Physical Education at Elon College. In 10 seasons as the school's head baseball coach, he posted a 184–110 record. After that, he worked for Barton College from 1966 through 1984 and also coached the baseball team in 1973 and again from 1981 to 1984. He retired after the team won its first conference championship in 1984.
Sanford died in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the age of 87.
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- Baseball in Wartime
- Historic Baseball obituary
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