9. Gabby Hartnett
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: December 20, 1900 in Woonsocket, RI USA
  • Weight: 195 lbs.
  • Height: 6'1"
  • Bats: R
  • Throws: R
  • Debut: April 12, 1922
  • Final Game: September 24, 1941
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1924
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1925
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1927
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1927
  • TSN All-Star - 1927
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1928
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1928
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1930
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1931
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1932
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1934
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1935
  • Most Valuable Player - 1935
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1936
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1937
  • TSN All-Star - 1937
 
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Gabby Hartnett was considered the best Catcher in the National League (maybe all of baseball) for a decade, and why wouldn't he be?

A Cub for the first 19 of his 20 seasons, Hartnett was the first Catcher to blast 20 Home Runs in a Season (1925), and he would have 236 overall, a record at the time for anyone at his position.  Catchers were not expected to be good hitters in his day, but Hartnett had six .300 Seasons (five for Chicago) and retired with an excellent Slash Line of .297/.370/.489.

Catchers were expected to provide good defense, and while he made his share of errors, he was a six-time league leader in Caught Stealing Percentage and was in the top three in Range Factor per Game 13 times.  A six-time All-Star, Hartnett would win the National League MVP Award in 1935 when he had a career-high .344 Batting Average.

While the Cubs did not win the World Series when he was there, they would have not have made the four that they did without Hartnett, especially the 1938 one.  That season, Hartnett hit the famed Home Run (called the Homer in the Gloamin’ in reference to the darkness around the stadium) in a series against Pittsburgh that propelled them to a lead in the NL) The man they called “Old Tomato Face” would be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Catcher
  • Acquired: Sent from Worcester (Eastern) in an unknown transaction before the 1922 Season.
  • Departed: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Giants 12/10/40.
  • Games Played: 1926
  • Notable Statistics: 847 Runs, 1,867 Hits, 391 Doubles, 64 Triples, 231 Home Runs, 1,153 Runs Batted In, 28 Stolen Bases, .297/.370/.490 Slash Line, 59.1 bWAR
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    MVP (1935)

    All-Star (1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 & 1938)

    Most Putouts by a Catcher (1925, 1927, 1930 & 1934)

    Most Assists by a Catcher (1925, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1934 & 1935)

    Most Double Plays Turned by a Catcher (1925, 1927, 1930, 1931, 1934 & 1935)

    Most Runners Caught Stealing (1927, 1930, 1934 & 1935)

    Highest Caught Stealing Percentage (1926, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1934 & 1935)

    Highest Range Factor per Game by a Catcher (1925 & 1934)

    Highest Fielding Percentage by a Catcher (1928, 1930, 1934, 1936, 1937 & 1938)
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