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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jim Ray Hart
Jim Ray Hart Giants.jpg
Third baseman / Left fielder
Born: (1941-10-30)October 30, 1941
Hookerton, North Carolina
Died: May 19, 2016(2016-05-19) (aged 74)
Acampo, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 7, 1963, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
May 27, 1974, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.278
Home runs170
Runs batted in578
Career highlights and awards

James Ray Hart (October 30, 1941 – May 19, 2016) was a third baseman in Major League Baseball. He played for the National League's San Francisco Giants from 1963 to 1973 and the American League's New York Yankees in 1973 and 1974. Hart batted and threw right-handed. In a 12-season career, Hart posted a .278 batting average, with 170 home runs and 578 runs batted in (RBIs) in 1,125 Major League games played.


In 1965, Hart was fined and suspended by Giants' manager Herman Franks after breaking curfew. Some of his teammates feared he was becoming an alcoholic, and Giants' captain Willie Mays had a talk with him. Mays told him, "If you play for me for six days, I'll give you one day," meaning if Hart was ready to play during the week, Mays would give him a bottle of Old Crow each Monday. "He was ready to play every day," Mays reported, and he gave Hart five hundred dollars out of his own pocket after the season for always being ready.[1]

Hart had some notable achievements in baseball, including: tying for second with Rico Carty in NL Rookie of the Year award voting in 1964 (they both finished behind Dick Allen); playing in the All-Star game for the National League in 1966; being named NL Player of the Month in July 1967 (.355, 13 HR, 30 RBI); and hitting for the cycle on July 8, 1970.[2] That same day, he also became one of a select few players to have six RBIs in one inning. He did this by hitting a three-run triple and a three-run home run in the fifth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves.[2]

However, Hart had a reputation as a poor defensive player at third base. He finished second, first and second among National League third basemen in errors in his first three full seasons in the majors (1964–66), never playing as many as 90 games at third in a season after that. In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James ranks Hart as the 74th-best third baseman of all time, writing about him, "A better hitter than 59 of the 73 men listed ahead of him at third base. This should tell you all you need to know about his defense."[3]

Following his release from the major leagues in 1974, Hart played in Mexico before retiring from baseball in 1976.

Later life

Hart joined the Teamsters as a warehouseman for Safeway supermarkets in Richmond, California, and later to Tracy, California, when operations moved there in 1992; he retired from Safeway in 2006.[citation needed]

Hart died on May 19, 2016.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Mays, Willie (1988). Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 218–20. ISBN 0671632922.
  2. ^ a b "San Francisco Giants 13, Atlanta Braves 0". Retrosheet. July 8, 1970.
  3. ^ James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon & Schuster.
  4. ^ "Giants mourn passing of 3B Jim Ray Hart". May 20, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.

Further reading

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hank Aaron
Major League Player of the Month
July 1967
Succeeded by
Orlando Cepeda
Preceded by
Tommie Agee
Hitting for the cycle
July 8, 1970
Succeeded by
Freddie Patek
This page was last edited on 3 October 2020, at 13:36
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