Old Timer Profile- Chick Hafey

Chick Hafey

Chick Hafey was born on February 12, 1903 in Berkeley, California. He was signed by Cardinals business manager Branch Rickey  when Hafey graduated from high school. He was inked as a pitcher but Rickey noticed he had a very good bat and had him moved to the outfield to get more at-bats.

He was assigned to the farm system in 1923 and played for the Fort Smith Twins. The next year he was moved to the Texas League and played for the Houston Buffaloes and hit ,360 and got a call up to the majors. He made hi professional debut on August 28, 1924. He went 0-for-4 in the game. Box Score 

In 1925, he bounced back and forth between the minors and major league. However, in 1926, he stayed the entire season but only played in 78 games. Rickey claimed Hafey was possibly his first success in the farm system that he invented.In 1927, Chick Hafey led the national league in slugging but he was suffering from sinus issues and his vision as getting worse from multiple beanings he got from pitchers in the previous season.

Hafey began wearing glasses. He wasn’t the first ever but he did become the first eyeglass wearer to go into the Hall of Fame. He had three pairs of glasses that he had to rotate through as his vision changed frequently.

Hafey was a pitcher before he signed to play pro ball, therefore, he had a spectacular arm in the outfield. But it was his hitting that got noticed. From 1928-1930, he averaged 27 home ruan along with 112 RBI’s. He won a batting title by .0002 over Bill Terry.

He didn’t have much to say as his teammates were quite boisterous but often Chick Hafey couldn’t get along with management. In 1931 and 1932 he started each season late over a dispute about salary. General Manager Branch Rickey fined him for being late and out of shape. Hafey left spring training and Rickey traded him to the last place Cincinnati Reds.The two players the Cardinals received, didn’t do very well and were later sold back to Cincinnati.

In 1971, the Veterans Committee of the Hall of Fame elected him to become a member, In 2014, the Cardinals selected him to become a member of their Hall of Fame.

About the author– Tom Knuppel has been writing about baseball and sports for a few decades. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan he began with the blog CardinalsGM. Tom is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He also maintains the History of Cardinals website. More recently he has been busy at KnupSolutions and the primary writer of many sports at KnupSports and adds content at Sports 2.0. Tom is a retired High School English and Speech teacher and has completed over one hundred sportsbook reviews. He also can be followed on Twitter at tknup. Feel free to contact Tom at tknuppel@gmail.





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