Hall of Fame: Gabby Hartnett (1955)

Year Team    G    AB    R    H  2B  3B  HR  RBI   BB IBB   SO HBP  SH SB  CS   AVG   OBP   SLG
1922 CHI N 31 72 4 14 1 1 0 4 6 0i 8 0 4 1 0 .194 .256 .236
1923 CHI N 85 231 28 62 12 2 8 39 25 22 3 4 4 0 .268 .347 .442
1924 CHI N 111 354 56 106 17 7 16 67 39 37 5 9 10 2 .299 .377 .523
1925 CHI N 117 398 61 115 28 3 24 67 36 77 2 7 1 5 .289 .351 .555
1926 CHI N 93 284 35 78 25 3 8 41 32 37 2 7 0 0 .275 .352 .468
1927 CHI N 127 449 56 132 32 5 10 80 44 42 3 13 2 0 .294 .361 .454
1928 CHI N 120 388 61 117 26 9 14 57 65 32 2 9 3 0 .302 .404 .523
1929 CHI N 25 22 2 6 2 1 1 9 5 5 0 1 1 0 .273 .407 .591
1930 CHI N 141 508 84 172 31 3 37 122 55 62 1 14 0 .339 .404 .630
1931 CHI N 116 380 53 107 32 1 8 70 52 48 1 5 3 .282 .370 .434
1932 CHI N 121 406 52 110 25 3 12 52 51 59 1 4 0 .271 .354 .436
1933 CHI N 140 490 55 135 21 4 16 88 37 51 0 8 1 .276 .326 .433
1934 CHI N 130 438 58 131 21 1 22 90 37 46 3 9 0 .299 .358 .502
1935 CHI N 116 413 67 142 32 6 13 91 41 46 1 6 1 .344 .404 .545
1936 CHI N 121 424 49 130 25 6 7 64 30 36 6 8 0 .307 .361 .443
1937 CHI N 110 356 47 126 21 6 12 82 43 19 0 6 0 .354 .424 .548
1938 CHI N 88 299 40 82 19 1 10 59 48 17 3 3 1 .274 .380 .445
1939 CHI N 97 306 36 85 18 2 12 59 37 32 1 7 0 .278 .358 .467
1940 CHI N 37 64 3 17 3 0 1 12 8 7 0 1 0 .266 .347 .359
1941 NY N 64 150 20 45 5 0 5 26 12 14 1 2 0 .300 .356 .433
Total 1990 6432 867 1912 396 64 236 1179 703 0i 697 35 127 28 7i .297 .370 .489

1 MVP Award (1935)
6 All-Star Games (1933-1938)

Born on December 20, 1900, Charles Leo Hartnett would die exactly 72 years later (something I’d like to do). His father was a great defensive catcher for a semi-pro team, and he would teach his four sons the skills for the “tools of ignorance”. As a child, Hartnett broke his arm, and when it didn’t heal properly, his mother forced him to carry things with his right arm in order to exercise it, leading to a very strong arm. Harnett went on to play for any team he could find, and his break came in 1921 when the Chicago Cubs signed him.

He would play sparingly in his first season in 1922 and double his games the following season, and the most noteworthy thing he did was not talk (he was shy), which led to his nickname. When he finally got his shot in 1924, he made it count, coming in 15th in the MVP voting, with a .299/.377/.523 line, though he led the league in strikeouts. Hartnett followed that up by coming in second in the league the following season with 24 home runs. Four years later, he had a mysterious injury to his arm. With his new bride, he came to bring training, and his arm was pronounced “dead”. He would only catch one game that year.

After the birth of his son, his arm was better, and he had a terrific 1930 campaign. He belted a career-high (and then record for catchers) 27 home runs and 122 RBI with an amazing 1.034 OPS. In 1932, he was behind the plate when Babe Ruth called his home run. Three years later, Hartnett won his only MVP Award by hitting .344 and leading in several defensive categories. His most famous moment came in 1928 when he hit his “Homer in the Gloamin'” to help the Cubbies win the pennant. By the end of his career in 1941 (his only season not as a Cub — with the Giants), he held many of the offensive records for catchers, and his mask and bat were sent to the Hall of Fame.

Hartnett waited 14 years to find himself in the Hall of Fame. In 1955, he received 195 of 251 (77.7%) of the vote for his enshrinement.

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