Museum Remembers Forrest “Spook” Jacobs

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spookBy Claudia Leister

A new exhibit following the baseball career and accomplishments of Forrest “Spook” Jacobs has recently opened at the Milford Museum. As a speedy second baseman, Jacobs was known for his aggressive style on the base paths and unique hitting style, thus earning him the nickname of “Spook”. During his seventeen year career with professional baseball, Jacobs played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Athletics, Kansas City Athletics, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. This exhibit at the Milford Museum will continue through the end of the year.

Born in Cheswold, DE, Jacobs graduated from high school in Salem, NJ in 1943 where he excelled in baseball and basketball. He signed with the Dodger Chain in 1943, but was drafted into the Army before he could report. In 1946 Jacobs was able to start his professional career. He enjoyed eight successful years in minor league baseball’s Dodger Chain. He played in Thomasville, NC; Johnstown, PA; Asheville, NC; Mobile, AL, and Ft. Worth, TX.

Spook was signed by Connie Mack to play second base with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1954. On April 13, 1954, Forrest “Spook” Jacobs made his debut with the Philadelphia Athletics on “Opening Day” against the Boston Red Sox. During his first time at bat he smacked a single. He is one of only two major leaguers to collect four hits in their first four times at bat in a debut on opening day, the other being Delino DeShield of Seaford, DE.

Jacobs played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Athletics, Kansas City Athletics, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a player and manager with four Independent Affiliation teams, and scout for the Houston Colt 45’s. During his seventeen year career with professional baseball, nine of these years were played year round. He completed his career with over 2,200 hits to create a combined batting average of .302. Jacobs was in the top three in stolen bases each year and led his respective position of second base in double plays and fielding percentages while making six All-Star squads.

After retirement, Jacobs chose family life over a possible move to the major leagues. The Jacobs family moved to Milford, DE where “Spook” operated the Milford Bus Station, a Trailways stop, for sixteen years. Then in 1976 he opened a Mister Donut Shop in the Milford Plaza Shopping Center. Receiving many accolades for his professional career in retirement, Jacobs is a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame, Salem County, New Jersey Hall of Fame, South New Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame, Eastern Shore Del-Mar-Va Baseball Hall of Fame, Columbus Jets Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame and Cuban Baseball (Havana-Miami) Hall of Fame.

The Milford Museum is open 10am to 3:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and 1pm to 3:30pm on Sunday. They are closed on Mondays and Holidays. Admission is free. The Museum is located at 121 S. Walnut Street, Milford, DE and individuals can call 302-424-1080 for more information or to schedule a group tour.

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