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Bancroft, Dave (4/20/1981 - 10/9/1972)

By Trenton (NJ) Evening Times

David J. Bancroft, 81, a Sioux City, Iowa, Native who spent most of his life here (Superior, WI), died in a Superior (WI) hospital Monday (10/9/1972) after a long illness.

He entered pro baseball at the age of 18 in the Wisconsin-Minnesota League and went on to 15 years in the majors, compiling a lifetime batting average of .279.  He hit a career high of .321 in 1922.

But he was best known as one of the game's great fielding shortstops, topping the National League in that department twice, with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1920 and with the Boaston Braves in 1925.

"I never worried about making errors.  I guess that had a lot to do with it," he said in an interview Jan. 31, 1971, the night he learned he was named to the Hall of Fame.

"I guess this is the biggest honor I ever had.  I was more surprised than anyone to hear of it," Bancroft said of the Hall of Fame honor.

"This was a complete surprise to me," he said, then added with a chuckle, "But my wife thought it might have come a little sooner."  His wife and a sister survive him.

Bancroft played in four World Series, once as a rookie with the Phillies in 1915 and three times with the New York Giants from 1921 through 1923.  He liked to recall his days with Casey Stengel at New York and Boston.

"He was a great guy," Bancroft said last year.  "I always got a kick out of just talking with him."

Contributed by: Merrie Fidler
Submitted on: 02/11/2017
Copyright: Trenton (NJ) Evening Times 10/11/1972 p. 8

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