Harry Agganis of Boston Red Sox Dies;
Ex-Football Star From Bay State Was 25
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 27 (AP) — Harry Agganis, the Boston Red Sox first baseman and former Boston University football star, died today. His age was 25.
Mr. Agganis succumbed at Saneta Maria Hospital while apparently recovering from a chest ailment which had sidelined him six weeks ago.
Physicians said in a statement they believed death was caused by "a massive pulmonary embolism."
Mr. Agganis, after a brilliant sports career at Boston University, passed up professional football to sign with the Red Sox following his graduation in 1953. He was sent to Louisville in the American Association where he hit twenty-three homers, drove in 108 runs and batted .281 in his first season.
Promoted to the Red Sox last year, Mr. Agganis hit only .251, but had eleven homers, eight triples, thirteen doubles and drove in fifty-seven runs. He lost his starting job at first base to a rookie, Norm Zauchin, at the beginning of the season, but won it back after a short time. He was hitting over .300 when he complained of chest pains and was hospitalized May 16 (1954).
The Red Sox placed Mr. Agganis' name on the voluntary retired list, sidelining him for sixty days, shortly after he was hospitalized on June 5 for the second time.
Mr. Agganis began his athletic career in his native Lynn, just north of Boston. He compiled an outstanding record as a football and baseball player at Lynn Classical High School.
He went on to Boston University and continued to star in both sports, although his football activities overshadowed his baseball ability.
After a sophomore season in 1949, when he set a school record by tossing fifteen touchdown passes, Mr. Agganis entered the Marine Corps. He played for the Camp Lejeune (N.C.) football and baseball teams.
Mr. Agganis received a dependency discharge from the Marines to support his mother and returned to college in 1951. He set another Boston University mark by passing for 1,402 yards for the season and won the Bulger Lowe Award as New England's outstanding football player.
Survivors are his mother, four brothers and two sisters.