Spencer hit a career-high 20 HR in his rookie 1953 season, although he batted only .208. He was used flexibly at shortstop, third base, and second base in manager Leo Durocher‘s complex lineup manipulation. After missing 1954-55 in the military, Spencer returned to his everyday utility role in 1956, then won the shortstop job in 1957. After leading the league’s shortstops in errors in 1957 and 1958, he was moved to second base in 1959. Meanwhile, his hitting improved, although he sacrificed some power for average. In 1958, the Giants’ first year in San Francisco, he hit .256 with 73 walks, 17 HR, and career highs of 71 runs and 74 RBI. After the 1959 season, he was traded to the Cardinals with Leon Wagner for Don Blasingame and then joined the Dodgers in mid-1961, resuming his supersub role. After his retirement he became one of the earlier exports to Japanese baseball (1964-68, 71-72), and introduced hard sliding to that country; he was reportedly the first baserunner to break up a double play there. He pursued HR titles in 1964 and 1965, but was walked almost every time he batted down the stretch both years. He totaled 152 HR in Japan, topping 30 three times, and hit .275.