Chick Hafey

Charles James "Chick" Hafey (February 12, 1903 – July 2, 1973) was an American player in Major League Baseball (MLB). Playing for the St. Louis Cardinals (19241931) and Cincinnati Reds (1932–1935, 1937), Hafey was a strong line-drive hitter who batted for a high average on a consistent basis.

Hafey was part of two World Series championship teams (in 1926 and 1931) as a Cardinal and also made history with the first hit in an All-Star game, starting in left field and batting cleanup for the National League in the 1933 game. He was selected by the Veterans Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. In 2014, the Cardinals inducted him into their team hall of fame.

Chick Hafey
Born: February 12, 1903
Berkeley, California
Died: July 2, 1973 (aged 70)
Calistoga, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 28, 1924, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1937, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average.317
Home runs164
Runs batted in833
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Early life

Hafey was born on February 12, 1903 in Berkeley, California. He attended Berkeley High School. The St. Louis Cardinals signed Hafey out of high school as a pitcher. However, Cardinals general manager noticed Hafey's hitting abilities and decided that Hafey should become an outfielder.[1]


St. Louis Cardinals

Hafey played in the minor leagues for the Fort Smith Twins of the Western Association in 1923. He moved to the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League the next year, hitting .360 before being called up to the Cardinals near the end of the season. He split time between the Cardinals and Syracuse Stars in 1925.[2] He spent the 1926 season with the Cardinals, but he played only 78 games.[3]

Hafey was the first major success of Rickey's expansive farm system, breaking through in 1927 when he led the National League in slugging. Hafey, however, had suffered multiple beanings in 1926. He developed sinus trouble and his vision deteriorated, and Hafey began to wear eyeglasses while playing. Although Specs Toporcer was the first baseball player to wear glasses, Hafey was the most prominent; he is one of two Hall of Famers with eyeglasses, Reggie Jackson being the other. Because his vision became so variable, Hafey was obliged to rotate among three different pairs of glasses.

In the field, Hafey was known for having a "rifle arm." He had a power peak, averaging 27 home runs and 114 RBI from 1928 to 1930.[4] In July 1929, Hafey tied a National League record with ten hits in ten consecutive at-bats. In August 1930, he hit for the cycle. In 1931, Hafey won one of the closest races for a batting title in history, hitting .349 to beat New York's Bill Terry by just .0002, and teammate Jim Bottomley by .0007. The title was only secured by a hit in Hafey's final at-bat of the season. Hafey was fifth in the voting for the 1931 MVP award.[5] When Hafey's Cardinals faced Al Simmons' Athletics in the 1931 World Series, it marked just the second time that two reigning batting champions had opposed one another in the Fall Classic.

Although the soft-spoken Hafey was overshadowed by some of his raucous Cardinals teammates, he was frequently at odds with management. Hafey's 1931 and 1932 seasons both began late due to salary disputes. Cardinals general manager Rickey fined Hafey for being late and out of shape in 1931. In 1932, coming off his batting title, Hafey demanded that the previous year's fine be added to his 1932 salary. When Rickey refused, Hafey bolted from St. Louis' spring training camp. Rickey responded by trading Hafey to the last-place Cincinnati Reds.

Cincinnati Reds

Hafey was happy to join the Reds, who gave him the raise he had sought, but his career faltered. His vision was still erratic, and his persistent sinus condition cost him half of the 1932 season, though he hit .344. In 1933, he was chosen for the inaugural All Star Game, recording the first-ever All-Star hit. Although he maintained a solid batting average as a Red, his offensive production decreased.

In June 1935, suffering from sinus problems and influenza, he returned to his ranch near Berkeley and his relatives there said that he would not return to baseball that season. The team wanted team surgeons to perform sinus surgery, but Hafey planned to have a procedure performed by his own doctor.[6] He tried a minor league comeback in 1936, but he gave that up in April because he was experiencing vision problems and dizzy spells still attributed to sinusitis.[7]

Hafey announced that he would attempt another comeback with the Reds in February 1937.[8] Not long after that, Hafey abandoned that comeback due to a salary dispute. In May, he announced that he would work out with a Pacific Coast League team to work his way back to the Cardinals.[9] He hit .261 in 89 major league games that year. He was released before the 1938 season by general manager Warren Giles when they could not agree to contract terms.[10]

He finished his career batting .317, with 164 home runs and 833 RBI. Hafey played in four World Series, hitting .205 in 92 plate appearances. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included Hafey in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. They cited what they called "the Smoky Joe Wood Syndrome," where a player of truly exceptional talent might rank with the all-time greats on merit, despite a career sharply curtailed by injury.


Hafey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. Sabermetrician Bill James has listed Hafey as one of ten examples of Hall of Fame inductees who do not deserve the honor.[11] In January 2014, the Cardinals announced Hafey among 22 former players and personnel to be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for the inaugural class of 2014.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Cohen, Robert (2013). The 50 Greatest Players in St. Louis Cardinals History. Scarecrow Press. pp. 127–128. ISBN 0810892162. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  2. ^ "Chick Hafey Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  3. ^ "Chick Hafey Statistics and History". Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "Chick Hafey". Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  5. ^ "1931 Awards Voting". Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Hafey out for season". The Pittsburgh Press. June 13, 1935. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "Chick Hafey gives up idea of comeback try". The Tuscaloosa News. April 14, 1936. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  8. ^ "Chick Hafey plans comeback attempt". Berkeley Daily Gazette. February 11, 1937. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  9. ^ "Chick Hafey plans to return to big league". The Bulletin. April 30, 1937. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  10. ^ Schottelkotte, Jim (July 11, 1973). "Hall of Famer Chick Hafey is recalled by friends". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  11. ^ "Bill James Answers All Your Baseball Questions", an April 2008 entry from the Freakonomics blog
  12. ^ Cardinals Press Release (January 18, 2014). "Cardinals establish Hall of Fame & detail induction process". Retrieved January 29, 2014.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Hack Wilson
Hitting for the cycle
August 21, 1930
Succeeded by
Babe Herman
1926 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1926 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 45th season in St. Louis, Missouri and their 35th in the National League. The Cardinals went 89–65 during the season and finished first in the National League, winning their first National League pennant. In the World Series, they defeated the New York Yankees in 7 games, ending it by throwing out Babe Ruth at second base in the ninth-inning of Game 7 to preserve a 3–2 victory. This was Rogers Hornsby's only full season as manager for the team.

Catcher Bob O'Farrell won the MVP Award this year, batting .293, with 7 home runs and 68 RBIs. Led by RBI champion Jim Bottomley, the offense scored the most runs in the NL.

1926 World Series

The 1926 World Series, the 23rd playing of Major League Baseball's championship series, pitted the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals against the American League champion New York Yankees. The Cardinals defeated the Yankees four games to three in the best-of-seven series, which took place from October 2 to 10, 1926, at Yankee Stadium and Sportsman's Park.

This was the first World Series appearance (and first National League pennant win) for the Cardinals, and would be the first of eleven World Series championships in Cardinals history. The Yankees were playing in their fourth World Series in six years after winning their first American League pennant in 1921 and their first world championship in 1923. They would play in another 36 World Series (and win 26 of those) through the end of the 2018 season.In Game 1, Herb Pennock pitched the Yankees to a 2–1 win over the Cards. In Game 2, pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander evened the Series for St. Louis with a 6–2 victory. Knuckleballer Jesse Haines' shutout in Game 3 gave St. Louis a 2–1 Series lead. In the Yankees' 10–5 Game 4 win, Babe Ruth hit three home runs, a World Series record equaled only four times since. According to newspaper reports, Ruth had promised a sickly boy named Johnny Sylvester to hit a home run for him in Game 4. After Ruth's three-homer game, the boy's condition miraculously improved. The newspapers' account of the story is disputed by contemporary baseball historians, but it remains one of the most famous anecdotes in baseball history. Pennock again won for the Yankees in Game 5, 3–2.

Cards' player-manager Rogers Hornsby chose Alexander to start Game 6, and used him in relief to close out Game 7. Behind Alexander, the Cardinals won the final two games of the series, and with it the world championship. In Game 7, the Yankees, trailing 3–2 in the bottom of the ninth inning and down to their last out, Ruth walked, bringing up Bob Meusel. Ruth, successful in half of his stolen base attempts in his career, took off for second base on the first pitch. Meusel swung and missed, and catcher Bob O'Farrell threw to second baseman Hornsby who tagged Ruth out, ending Game 7 and thereby crowning his Cardinals World Series champions for the first time. The 1926 World Series is the only Series to date which ended with a baserunner being caught stealing.

1927 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1927 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 46th season in St. Louis, Missouri, and its 36th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 92–61 during the season and finished second in the National League.

1928 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1928 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 47th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 37th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 95–59 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the World Series, they were swept by the New York Yankees.

1930 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1930 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 49th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 39th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 92–62 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the 1930 World Series, they lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in six games.

1931 Major League Baseball season

The 1931 Major League Baseball season.

1931 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1931 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 50th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 40th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 101–53 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the World Series, they beat the Philadelphia Athletics in 7 games.

1932 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1932 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 60–94, 30 games behind the Chicago Cubs.

1933 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1933 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 58–94, 33 games behind the New York Giants.

1933 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1933 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the first edition of the All-Star Game known as the "Midsummer Classic". This was the first official playing of the midseason exhibition baseball game between Major League Baseball's (MLB's) National League (NL) and American League (AL) All-Star teams. The game was held on July 6, 1933, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, the home of the AL's Chicago White Sox. The game resulted in the AL defeating the NL 4–2, in two hours and five minutes.

The first MLB All-Star game (unofficial all-star game called the Addie Joss Benefit Game) was held on July 24, 1911, in Cleveland at Cleveland League Park (League Park, 1891–1946), the American League All-Stars versus the Cleveland Naps (1903–1915). The AL All-Stars won 5-3.

1934 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1934 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 52–99, 42 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Their .344 winning percentage remains the lowest in franchise history since 1900, and the 99 losses were the worst in the franchise history until the 1982 Reds lost 101 games. Because the schedule did not have 162 games at this time, and the Reds only won 52 games this season compared to 1982, when they lost 101 games, when at the same time winning 61 games, nine more than this team, the 1934 Reds are actually a weaker team than the 1982 team, thus making this team the worst in franchise history overall.

1937 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1937 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 56–98, 40 games behind the New York Giants.

1962 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1962 followed a new system for even-number years. Since 1956 the Baseball Writers' Association of America and Veterans Committee had alternated in their duties, but the BBWAA, voting by mail to select from recent major league players, had elected no one for 1958 and no one for 1960. Now there would be a second, "runoff" election in case of no winner. At the same time the Veterans Committee resumed meeting annually to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

The provision for a runoff election was not necessary yet, for the writers elected two new candidates on their first ballot, Bob Feller and Jackie Robinson. The Veterans Committee also selected Bill McKechnie and Edd Roush, both of whom were still alive to be interviewed and invited to the induction ceremonies.

1971 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1971 featured a new committee on the Negro Leagues that met in February and selected Satchel Paige. The museum planned to honor Paige and those who would follow in a special permanent exhibit outside the Hall of Fame but controversy about the nature of the honor began at the event announcing his election, February 9, and continued until the induction ceremonies six months later. At the latter event Paige was inducted to the Hall of Fame itself, the same as the major league figures.

Otherwise the elections continued a system of annual elections in place since 1968.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected no one.

The Veterans Committee met in closed-door sessions to select from executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It elected seven, the biggest year in its 1953 to 2001 history: Dave Bancroft, Jake Beckley, Chick Hafey, Harry Hooper, Joe Kelley, Rube Marquard, and George Weiss.

Bob Broeg

Robert William Patrick Broeg (March 18, 1918 – October 28, 2005) was an American sportswriter.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he officially covered the St. Louis Cardinals for forty years. He graduated from Cleveland High School (Class of '36) and the University of Missouri before entering the United States Marines. He served in Washington as a result of an eye injury suffered at birth.

After the war, Broeg joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was privy to many important events in baseball history. Broeg was partially responsible for the famous picture of Eddie Gaedel at the plate in 1951. He told the photographer to stay at the game until Gaedel came to the plate and the picture was taken.

Later, he helped Bob Gibson win the 1967 World Series. Gibson was unable to get breakfast at the Cardinals' hotel in Boston, so Broeg delivered a ham and egg sandwich to the star right-hander. Gibson pitched a complete game and carried his team to victory.

Among other things, Broeg is known for coining the nickname "Stan the Man" for Cardinal baseball player Stan Musial, championing the Hall of Fame causes of Cardinals Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter and Chick Hafey and helping to devise, and successfully push for the first pension plan for veteran major-league players.

Broeg was named to the Board of Directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, a position he held for 28 years. He was also a longtime member of the Committee on Baseball Veterans. His knowledge was reported to be encyclopedic, even into his 80s. His willingness to share that knowledge with everyone from colleagues and loyal readers to complete strangers at the ballpark or on the street endeared him to fans spanning multiple generations. He penned his last column in 2004.

The St. Louis chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research is named for Bob Broeg. He was awarded the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in 1979. He was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1997.

Broeg said he wished his epitaph to read, "Hopefully, he was fair, as in just, not as in mediocre." Appropriately, Bob Broeg died five hours after the final game of the 2005 World Series. He was 87.

Fort Smith Twins

The Fort Smith Twins (also known as the Fort Smith Giants) were a minor league baseball team in Fort Smith, Arkansas that existed in various incarnations from 1887 through 1953, playing a total of 36 seasons. From 1911 onward, the teams played in the Western Association.

Beginning in 1921, the teams played most of their home games at Andrews Field, in downtown Fort Smith on land now owned by the Fort Smith National Cemetery.Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Chick Hafey played for Fort Smith in 1923. Hugo Bezdek managed the Fort Smith Soldiers for part of the 1909 season.

Left fielder

In baseball, a left fielder (LF) is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.

List of bespectacled baseball players

In baseball, players rarely wear spectacles but some players played in the major leagues with glasses. For many years, wearing glasses while playing the sport was an embarrassment. Baseball talent scouts routinely rejected spectacled prospects on sight. The stigma had diminished by the early 1960s and by one estimate 20 percent of major league players wore glasses by the end of the 1970s. The development of shatter-resistant lenses in the latter half of the 1940s contributed to their acceptance.The first major-league player to wear spectacles was Will 'Whoop-La' White in 1878-86. Only pitchers dared wear glasses while playing until the early 1920s, when George 'Specs' Toporcer of the St. Louis Cardinals became the first outfielder to sport eyewear. Bespectacled pitchers are less rare as they have less need to field the ball.

There are only two players in the Baseball Hall of Fame to have worn eyeglasses during play: Chick Hafey and Reggie Jackson. Because his vision became so variable, Hafey was obliged to rotate among three different pairs of glasses.

Tom Hafey (baseball)

Thomas Francis Hafey (July 12, 1913 – October 2, 1996) nicknamed "Heave-O", was a Major League Baseball third baseman who played with the New York Giants and the St. Louis Browns in 1939 and 1944. His brother Bud Hafey and cousin Chick Hafey also played in the Major Leagues.

Veterans Committee
Negro League Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /
Inducted as a Cardinal
Inductees who played
for the Cardinals
Cardinals managers
Cardinals executives
Frick Award
Spink Award

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