Friday, February 11, 2011

#395 Jim Hart

#395 Jim Hart
For some reason, I'm really drawn to the bright blue sky behind Jim Hart. There aren't many cards in this set with such a clear backdrop.

Fun facts about Jim Hart:

-Jim Ray Hart was born in Hookerton, NC and signed with the Giants at age 18 in 1960.

-He debuted with San Francisco in mid-1963 but had a rude initiation. In his second game, a Bob Gibson fastball broke his shoulder blade. He missed more than a month, and then was beaned by Curt Simmons in his fifth game back and missed the balance of the season!

-His second season in the big leagues went more smoothly. He finished a distant second to Dick Allen in Rookie of the Year voting with a .286 average, 31 home runs, and 81 RBI.

-Jim avoided the sophomore slump in 1965, leading the team with 30 doubles. He also boosted his average to .299. Although he dropped to 23 home runs, his 96 RBI trailed only Willie Mays for the team lead.

-His only All-Star selection came in 1966, when he clouted a personal-best 33 home runs and drove in 93 runs with a .285 average.

-A fourth straight standout year saw Jim hit 29 home runs and achieve career highs of 98 runs scored, 99 RBI, and a .373 on-base percentage in 1967. He paced the Giants in runs and RBI.

-Hart had a game for the ages on July 8, 1970 against the Braves. In just his second game after missing the first half of the season with injuries, he hit for the cycle in a 4-for-5 effort and drove in 7 runs as the Giants romped 13-0.

-He struggled with his weight and shoulder injuries in his late twenties, both of which hampered his already-suspect defense and cut into his playing time. He totaled only 131 games from 1970 through 1972.

-Jim closed his career out in 1974 with the Yankees, and was only 32 at the time. In parts of 12 seasons he hit .278 with 170 home runs and 578 RBI.

-Hart worked as a warehouse man for Safeway Stores in California until his retirement in 2006.
#395 Jim Hart (back)


  1. I'll never forget a locker room photo of him after finding out the Yankees had just released him in mid-season of 1974

  2. Brox - That's a shame. Sounds like one of those moments that reminds you how human these guys really are.

  3. That was quite a Giants lineup in the mid-60s, with Mays, McCovey, Hart, and, for a time, Cepeda. And they had Marichal and Gaylord Perry on the mound. Yet, they continually finished second.

  4. Marc - Unfortunately for the Giants, the Dodgers had a few decent pitchers in their own right!