Thursday, June 11, 2009

#141 Charlie James

#141 Charlie James
Charlie James is a pleasant-looking man. That's all I've got. Dig those dimples, ladies!

Fun facts about Charlie James:

-Born in St. Louis and stayed close to home, attending the University of Missouri and Washington University before signing with the Cardinals as a free agent in 1958.

-Jumped straight to AA upon signing, earning Texas League Rookie of the Year honors at age twenty when he hit .278 with 66 extra-base hits (36 doubles, 11 triples, 19 home runs) for the Houston Buffaloes.

-Was even better at AAA Rochester in 1959, hitting .300 with 63 extra-base hits (32 2B, 13 3B, 18 HR) for the Red Wings.

-Debuted with the Cardinals on August 2, 1960; had only nine hits in 50 at-bats in the majors, but did club two home runs and a double.

-Did better with more regular playing time the following year: .255, 19 doubles, 44 RBI in 108 games. He also helped the Redbirds tie a dubious record as one of three pinch hitters to strike out in an inning. It came in the ninth inning of a May 10 contest vs. the Reds, and Bill Henry was the Cincinnati reliever who nailed down the 3-2 victory. A fourth pinch hitter, Gene Oliver, walked during that inning.

-In a career-high 129 games in 1962, also reached highs in average (.276), runs (50), and RBI (59).

-Hit .268 with a personal-best 10 homers in 1963, his last year as a regular.

-Bashed two game-tying solo home runs off of Billy Pierce in one game, July 6, 1963; unfortunately, the Giants would go on to beat Charlie's Cards, 5-3.

-After slumping to .223 in 1964 (and going 0-for-3 in the World Series), was traded to Cincinnati, where he collected only eight hits in 41 at-bats the next season. Retired as a .255 hitter with 29 longballs in parts of six seasons.

-Hit two home runs each off of a pair of very good pitchers: Harvey Haddix and Sandy Koufax.
#141 Charlie James (back)

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