R. Scott Spencer, HDL Hall of Fame Member, 1961-2013
Since Tuesday of this week when I was informed by Paul Baioni that Scott Spencer was discovered dead at his home in Bay Arkansas, I have been too shocked to know what to say. I was waiting on more details to share with anyone who knew Scott. Based on information shared by Robert Miller, Scott was found by his sister when they went to check on him at his house. From all appearances, Scott suffered a massive heart attack and no foul play was suspected.
The last time I saw Scott, he attended the last meeting of the HDL Hall of Fame, where he has served as a Board Member since 2007. When Scott was at the last Board meeting he appeared to me to be OK but not in great health. For the past few years, Scott has been battling a variety of health related issues.
For those who never had a chance to meet or know him when he played I will share a few facts.
Scott first played in the HDL in 1987 at the young age of 26, going on 27. Back in 1987, the HDL was struggling for players so we would relax the age restriction so we could have enough players to field 2 teams. We also realized that it was a good way to get some players involved who would also help make the HDL stronger. For many years, Scott Spencer was a spark plug type player who used his speed, hustle and love of the game to challenge his opponents. Peterbilt Team Photo – ’03 I will never forget the game, probably about 1989 or ’90. I was playing shortstop and after getting burned many times by Scott slapping a ground ball on the infield and ending up with a base hit because he would beat out about 90% of these type hits. Well, it was a hot Sunday summer morning. Scott came to bat and hit a bouncer over Gene Brady’s head that was slightly on the first base side of 2nd base. I charged the ball at full speed, managed to get a perfect bounce and in a continuous motion delivered a strike to first base to beat Scott by a full step. When Scott passed 1st base he jerked his helmet off and gave me that shocked look -“did that really happen?” I think I was as surprised as he was. We would go on to have many games like that through the years. Scott was probably one of the steadiest Second Baseman ever to play in the HDL.
In 2003, Scott Spencer was voted in to the HDL Hall of Fame as an Infielder. That was the same year that Mark Jackson, Johnny Eddlemon and Jerry Wallace were inducted. I remember Scott being very emotional about being honored to be a member of the Hall of Fame. The prior year, 2002, was when his good friends, Robert Miller, Paul Baioni, Mike Tollison were inducted along with Larry Hunsucker and Gordie Kastner. Those were two of the best banquets, ever. After each banquet, a bunch of us would immediately head to Tunica and have an all night party at the Casinos. I can remember a lot of fun with all these guys sitting together at a Blackjack table and pulling for each other. It was Us vs the Casinos.
Scott Spencer was a huge Florida Gator fan and he and I would love talking football. In about 2006, Scott went with me to the Florida-LSU game in Tiger Stadium. It was his first time there and he was impressed with how loud it got. Of course, this was one of the years that Nick Sabin’s LSU Tigers beat Steve Spurrier’s Gators.
I could go on & on with stories about the good times I have enjoyed with Scott Spencer. His love and passion for St Louis Cardinals is as deep and strong as any Cardinal fan.
At this point, the details for a Scott Spencer Memorial are being planned since there will be no Funeral Home announcements since Scott will be cremated. I can guarantee everyone that the HDL will continue to honor Mr. Spencer with appropriate HDL recognition. Stay tuned for more details.