Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#26 Grady Hatton - Boston Red Sox

Grady Edgebert Hatton, Jr.
Boston Red Sox
Third Base

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'8"  Weight:  170
Born:  October 7, 1922, Beaumont, TX
Signed:  Signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur free agent in 1946
Major League Teams:  Cincinnati Reds 1946-1954; Chicago White Sox 1954; Boston Red Sox 1954-1956; St. Louis Cardinals 1956; Baltimore Orioles 1956; Chicago Cubs 1960
As a Manager:  Houston Astros 1966-1968
Died:  April 11, 2013, Warren, TX (age 90)

Upon being discharged from the military in 1946, Grady Hatton promptly signed with the Reds and became their every day third baseman.  A lifetime .254 hitter over 12 seasons in the Majors, Hatton was named to the National League All-Star team in 1952.  His best season was perhaps in 1947 when he hit .281 with 16 home runs and 77 RBIs (both career highs) for the Reds.  After his playing days, Hatton joined the Cubs minor league coaching staff and was briefly activated in 1960 by the big club to serve primarily as a pinch-hitter.

He joined the Houston organization in 1963, managing their Triple-A team in Oklahoma City from 1963 to 1965 and jumping to the Majors to manage the Astros from 1966 to 1968.

Building the Set
October 3, 1999 in Raleigh, NC - Card #180
Details of my time living in North Carolina are sketchy at best.  My records indicate I purchased this card on my 26th birthday at the Sports Card Show held in Raleigh.  The show was most likely at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.  I spent $34 on eight cards that day, including $2 for this nearly pristine Hatton card.

The Card
The action shot is a fantastic play at the plate, and it appears as if Hatton may be in the process of being called out on the play.  The opposing team could be either the Yankees or Tigers.

The portrait shot is the same used for Hatton's 1954 and 1955 Topps cards, although the original photo (as seen on his 1954 Topps cards) features him in a Reds hat.  Hatton's Texas background and his offseason work as a cattle rancher are given attention on the back of the card.  A life-long resident of Texas, Hatton starred at Texas University and was an instrumental figure in the early history of the Astros.

1956 Season
Hatton bounced around during the 1956 season, playing five games with the Red Sox before being sold to the Cardinals on May 11th.  He lasted 44 games with the Cardinals before being sold again, this time to the Orioles.  In 76 total games with those three times, Hatton hit just .209 in 76 games. Following the season, the Orioles released him and he'd begin his coaching tenure within the Cubs organization.

1949 Bowman #62
1951 Topps Red Backs #34
1966 Topps #504
1974 Topps #31
Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1949 Bowman #62
First Topps Card:  1951 Topps Red Backs #34
Last Topps Card (as a player):  1956 Topps #26
First Topps Card (as a manager):  1966 Topps #504
Last Topps Card (as a manager):  1968 Topps #392
Most Recent Topps Card (post-career):  1974 Topps #31
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1994 Topps Archives 1954 #208
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (11):  1951-1956, 1966-1968, 1973-1974

46 - Hatton non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 2/7/17

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Trading Card Database

In some cases, the first and last cards listed above are subjective and chosen by me if multiple cards were released within the same year.  Most recent mainstream card may also be subjective and does not include extremely low serial numbered cards, buybacks or cut autograph cards.

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