Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#733 Jim Ray Hart

Something of a Mystery…a player seeming destined to be on a par with teammates McCovey and Cepada ….rumored to have problems with alcohol…Jim came up 1963 but was injured after nearly successive beanings by Bob Gibson and Curt Simmons…exceptional power in the four years of career starting 1964…Finished 4th, 6th, and 5th in NL home runs during 1964, 1966, and 1967 respectively…either an MVP candidate or all star during that span…experienced a slight decline in production in 1968…then it all unraveled… production, power, and playing time plunged in 1969, contrary to the expectation that expansion would dilute pitching resulting in increased scoring…3 hr, 26 RBI, .254 were the numbers in 1969…Started 1970 in Phoenix…Returned to the Giants July 7th…On July 8th had one his of greatest single games ever…hit for the cycle and drove in 7 runs…6 in one inning…According to 1974’s Who’s Who in Baseball Hart did not any time on the disabled list other than a month in 1971, a year which had very little playing time in either minor or major league level…1972 was spent mostly at Phoenix...all this time hitting never seemed to be issue, just didn’t play a lot….Sold to Yankees in first weeks of 1973, and made a modest comeback as a DH,  getting the most playing time in five seasons…released after a poor start in 1974…whereabouts today are unknown.

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