Historic Baseball

Historic Baseball

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Bob HazleRobert Sidney HazleNickname: HurricaneBorn: Dec. 9. 1930 in Laurens, S.C.Died: April 25, 1992 in Columbia, S.C.Debut: 1955 | Pos: OFH: 6′ | W: 190 | B: L | T: RYr G AB R H HR RBI SB BA3 110 261 37 81 9 37 1 .310>> Visit the Bob Hazle biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics. Bob Hazle’s moment in the sun in the major leagues was brief, but he made the most of the opportunity.In 1956, the outfielder with Wichita was injured and was close to calling it quits. However, he decided to give baseball one more shot.He started out the 1957 season hitting just .220 for Wichita, but he suddenly caught fire and raised his batting average to .279.That’s when the Milwaukee Braves, firmly entrenched in a pennant battle, lost outfielder Bill Bruton to a knee injury. At the time of the injury, Bruton was hitting .278 with 5 home runs, 30 RBI and 11 stolen bases.The injury opened the door for Hazle to join the Braves and he responded to the chance. He joined the starting lineup on Aug. 4, 1957 and helped the Braves go on a tear. Hazle hit .403 over the end of that season with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs.At one point, the front-running Braves found themselves with a 2.5 game lead over the Cardinals. They entered a three-game series with St. Louis that proved to be a knock-out punch. Hazle collected four hits in the opening game and hit .700 over the series. The Braves won all three games, stretching the lead to 5.5 games.Nicknamed “Hurricane” after the storm that had hit the South Carolina coast in 1954, Hazle cooled off in the World Series. He had just 2 hits in 13 at-bats but the Braves beat the Yankees 4 games to 3.Born in Laurens, S.C., Hazle entered professional baseball in 1950 when he signed with the Cincinnati Reds. He made it to the major leagues in 1955 and collected 3 hits in 13 at-bats.On April 9, 1956, the Red send Hazle and a player to be named later (Corky Valentine) to the Milwaukee Braves for George Crowe.He followed up his stellar performance in 1957 by hitting .179 to start the 1958 season. On May 24, the Braves sold his contract to the Tigers. He hit .241 for the Tigers in 58 at-bats and it was his last season in the major leagues.He played for Charleston of the South Atlantic League in 1959 and retired.Following baseball, he worked as a salesman for a wine and spirits company in South Carolina. He died in 1992.Sources: Biographical Encyclopedia of Baseball, Aaron to Zuverink, Retrosheet.org