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Gabby Hartnett
Chicago Cubs
Hall of Fame Inductee - 1955
National League MVP 1935
All-Star Selection 1933-36, 1938

Full Name: Charles Leo Hartnett
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Born: in Woonsocket, RI
Major League Debut: Apr 12, 1922
Died: Dec 20, 1972 in Park Ridge, IL

PHOTO
GALLERY


SEE 1,000 Gm LIST

MANAGERIAL
RECORD


CAREER STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING
YR
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
TM
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
NY
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
POS
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
G
31
85
111
117
93
127
120
25
141
116
121
140
130
116
121
110
88
97
37
64
AB
72
231
354
398
284
449
388
22
508
380
406
490
438
413
424
356
299
306
64
150
R
4
28
56
61
35
56
61
2
84
53
52
55
58
67
49
47
40
36
3
20
H
14
62
106
115
78
132
117
6
172
107
110
135
131
142
130
126
82
85
17
45
2B
1
12
17
28
25
32
26
2
31
32
25
21
21
32
25
21
19
18
3
5
3B
1
2
7
3
3
5
9
1
3
1
3
4
1
6
6
6
1
2
0
0
HR
0
8
16
24
8
10
14
1
37
8
12
16
22
13
7
12
10
12
1
5
RBI
4
39
67
67
41
80
57
9
122
70
52
88
90
91
64
82
59
59
12
26
TB
17
102
185
221
133
204
203
13
320
165
177
212
220
225
188
195
133
143
23
65
BB
6
25
39
36
32
44
65
5
55
52
51
37
37
41
30
43
48
37
8
12
IBB
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals G
1990
AB
6432
R
867
H
1912
2B
396
3B
64
HR
236
RBI
1179
TB
3144
BB
703
IBB
0


BATTING BASERUNNING PERCENTAGES
YR
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1941
TM
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
NY
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
K
8
22
37
77
37
42
32
5
62
48
59
51
46
46
36
19
17
32
7
14
HBP
0
3
5
2
2
3
2
0
1
1
1
0
3
1
6
0
3
1
0
1
SH
4
4
9
7
7
13
9
1
14
5
4
8
9
6
8
6
3
7
1
2
SF
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
GDP
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
17
15
13
12
8
9
11
3
5
SB
1
4
10
1
0
2
3
1
0
3
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
CS
0
0
2
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
SB%
1.000
1.000
.833
.167
-.---
1.000
1.000
1.000
-.---
1.000
-.---
1.000
-.---
1.000
-.---
-.---
1.000
-.---
-.---
-.---
AVG
.194
.268
.299
.289
.275
.294
.302
.273
.339
.282
.271
.276
.299
.344
.307
.354
.274
.278
.266
.300
OBP
.256
.347
.377
.351
.352
.361
.404
.407
.404
.370
.354
.326
.358
.404
.361
.424
.380
.358
.347
.356
SLG
.236
.442
.523
.555
.468
.454
.523
.591
.630
.434
.436
.433
.502
.545
.443
.548
.445
.467
.359
.433
AB/HR
--.-
28.9
22.1
16.6
35.5
44.9
27.7
22.0
13.7
47.5
33.8
30.6
19.9
31.8
60.6
29.7
29.9
25.5
64.0
30.0
AB/K
9.0
10.5
9.6
5.2
7.7
10.7
12.1
4.4
8.2
7.9
6.9
9.6
9.5
9.0
11.8
18.7
17.6
9.6
9.1
10.7
Totals K
697
HBP
35
SH
127
SF
0
GDP
93
SB
28
CS
7
SB%
.800
BAVG
.297
OBP
.370
SLG
.489
AB/HR
27.3
AB/K
9.2


ALL-STAR STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING PERCENTAGES
YR
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
TM
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
G
1
1
1
1
1
0
AB
1
2
0
4
3
0
R
0
0
0
1
1
0
H
0
0
0
1
1
0
2B
0
0
0
0
0
0
3B
0
0
0
1
0
0
HR
0
0
0
0
0
0
RBI
0
0
0
1
0
0
TB
0
0
0
3
1
0
BB
0
0
0
0
0
0
K
1
0
0
0
0
0
SB
0
0
0
0
0
0
BAVG
.000
.000
-.---
.250
.333
-.---
SLG
.000
.000
-.---
.750
.333
-.---
AB/HR
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
AB/K
1.0
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
--.-
Totals G
5
AB
10
R
2
H
2
2B
0
3B
1
HR
0
RBI
1
TB
4
BB
0
K
1
SB
0
AVG
.200
SLG
.400
AB/HR
--.-
AB/K
10.0


WORLD SERIES STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING PERCENTAGES
YR
1929
1932
1935
1938
TM
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
G
3
4
6
3
AB
3
16
24
11
R
0
2
1
0
H
0
5
7
1
2B
0
2
0
0
3B
0
0
0
1
HR
0
1
1
0
RBI
0
1
2
0
TB
0
10
10
3
BB
0
1
0
0
K
3
3
3
2
SB
0
0
0
0
BAVG
.000
.313
.292
.091
SLG
.000
.625
.417
.273
AB/HR
--.-
16.0
24.0
--.-
AB/K
1.0
5.3
8.0
5.5
Totals G
16
AB
54
R
3
H
13
2B
2
3B
1
HR
2
RBI
3
TB
23
BB
1
K
11
SB
0
AVG
.241
SLG
.426
AB/HR
27.0
AB/K
4.9


CAREER FIELDING STATISTICS
YEAR TEAM LG POS G Ch PO A E DP FPCT
1922
1923
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939
1940
1940
1941
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
ChN
NYG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
C
1B
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
1B
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
C
1B
C
C
27
31
39
105
110
88
126
118
1
136
105
1
117
140
129
110
114
103
83
86
1
22
34
110
289
168
484
546
402
594
564
4
722
522
14
569
634
694
563
584
503
400
386
2
82
154
79
270
143
369
409
307
479
455
4
646
444
14
484
550
605
477
504
436
358
336
1
69
138
29
15
24
97
114
86
99
103
0
68
68
0
75
77
86
77
75
65
40
47
1
9
15
2
4
1
18
23
9
16
6
0
8
10
0
10
7
3
9
5
2
2
3
0
4
1
0
23
2
12
15
6
21
14
0
11
16
2
8
7
11
11
8
7
8
3
0
2
1
0.982
0.986
0.994
0.963
0.958
0.978
0.973
0.989
1.000
0.989
0.981
1.000
0.982
0.989
0.996
0.984
0.991
0.996
0.995
0.992
1.000
0.951
0.994
Totals G
1826
Ch
8990
PO
7577
A
1270
E
143
DP
188
FPCT
0.984


TEAM ABBREVIATION KEY
YEARS
1922-1940
1941
TM
Chi
NY
LG
NL
NL
TEAM NAME
Chicago Cubs
New York Giants
LEAGUE NAME
National League
National League

Gabby Hartnett was not only a standout catcher, but he was also a dangerous hitter, garnishing his .297 lifetime average with 236 home runs. He possessed an outstanding arm and a masterful handler of pitchers. Hartnett caught 100 or more games 12 times and set N.L. career marks for chances and putouts. As a rookie manager in 1938 he hit the memorable homer in near darkness to beat the Pirates and lead the Cubs to the pennant.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

Shortly before leaving for a spring training tryout with the Cubs in 1922, Leo Hartnett received some advice from his mother: "Keep your mouth shut until you see what's going on."

He heeded his mother's words, reportedly not uttering a word as the Cubs traveled to Catalina Island, Calif., for spring drills. The press picked up on the rookie's vow of silence and facetiously dubbed him with his now-famous nickname: Gabby.

After Hartnett hit .264 in the minors in 1921, the Cubs gambled on signing him for $2,500 and invited him to spring camp. But the 21-year-old catcher was not expected to make the big-league club; the Cubs already had one of the National League's best defensive catchers in veteran Bob O'Farrell, and Hartnett's skills behind the plate were unpolished, at best. Just a few years earlier, his high school coach assessed his defense: "No judgment, no instinct; he will never make a catcher."

Hartnett not only made the 1922 club, but he developed into one of the greatest catchers of all time, one who frequently is mentioned in the same class as fellow Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Bill Dickey and Mickey Cochrane. While   other catchers have worn the "tools of ignorance" for the Cubs -- Johnny Kling, Jimmy Archer, Randy Hundley and Jody Davis, among them -- the greatest of them all was undeniably Charles Leo "Gabby" Hartnett.

For almost 20 years, he was the premier catcher in the NL. Arguably the greatest defensive catcher of his era, he had a rifle arm and could hit for power (236 career homers) as well as average (.297). A Cubs fixture behind the plate, he caught at least 100 games in 12 seasons, including eight straight beginning in 1930. Although he led the league in errors in three of his first four big-league seasons, Hartnett later led the loop in fielding average six times. He also topped NL catchers in assists six times, in put-outs four times and in double plays seven times.

Hall of Fame manager Joe McCarthy, who won nine pennants in 24 years, including five seasons as Cubs skipper, called Hartnett the "perfect catcher."

"He had everything except speed," McCarthy said. "He was supersmart. Nobody ever had more hustle, and nobody could throw with him. There have been few great clutch hitters, and he was the best."

McCarthy was impressed especially with Hartnett's ability to take control of a game, as the once-quiet backstop lived up to his nickname by constantly yelling at his infielders and pitchers.

"Sometimes if he felt the pitcher wasn't bearing down enough, he'd fire the ball back to the mound like a rifle shot," McCarthy said. "That caught the fellow's attention, believe me."

In 1929, the Cubs captured their first pennant in 11 years, but they had to do so without Hartnett. During spring training, his arm mysteriously went dead. Not even rubdowns by longtime Cubs and Bears trainer/equipment manager Andy Lotshaw helped. Pain limited Hartnett to just 25 games, mostly as a pinch hitter.

As mysteriously as the injury set in, his arm healed in the off-season. Fully recovered, he rebounded the following year to hit .339 and set career highs for home runs (37) and RBI (122). With a healthy Hartnett behind the plate, the Cubs were about to begin a run as the NL powerhouse of the 1930s, winning pennants in 1932, '35 and '38.

Hartnett spearheaded the Cubs to first place in 1935, winning the NL MVP Award with a .344 average, third best in the league. He hit just 13 home runs but drove in 91 runs as the Cubs overtook the Cardinals for first place in September with a 21-game winning streak.

It was in the twilight of his career, however, that Hartnett authored his defining moment as a Cub: the "Homer in the Gloamin'," perhaps the most famous home run in Cubs history. Midway through the 1938 season, he replaced Charlie Grimm as manager. As late as Sept. 1, the Cubs were in fourth place, seven games behind the front-running Pirates.

On Sept. 28, Pittsburgh's lead over the Cubs was down to only a half-game, as the two teams battled through eight innings of a 5-5 tie at Wrigley Field. With darkness setting in, the umpires ruled the ninth inning would be the last. If the game remained tied, it would have to be made up as part of a doubleheader the following day. With closer Mace Brown on the mound and the first two Cubs retired, it appeared that the Pirates would hold on to first place for at least one more day. Down 0-2 in the count, Hartnett then belted a homer into the darkness to give the Cubs a 6-5 win, moving them into first for the first time since June.

"A lot of people have told me they didn't know the ball was in the bleachers," Hartnett said. "Well, I did -- maybe I was the only one in the park who did. I knew it the minute I hit it.

"When I got to second base I couldn't see third for all the players and fans there," he added. "I don't think I walked a step to the plate -- I was carried in."

The following day, the Cubs pounded the demoralized Pirates 10-1 en route to clinching the NL pennant a few days later. The Cubs closed the year by winning 22 of their final 29 games to vault over three clubs into first place.

Hartnett spent two more seasons as Cubs player/manager before being released after the 1940 season. He played one year for the New York Giants and retired in 1941, having caught a then-record 1,793 games. Later, he managed in the minors and operated a bowling alley in suburban Chicago. In 1955, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Hartnett, born on Dec. 20, 1900, passed away on his 72nd birthday.


Hartnett was the oldest of 14 children. His father Fred was a semi-pro catcher who had an exceptional throwing arm. Millville, MA, oldtimers still talk about "the Hartnett arm" - Fred's, four of his sons', and three of his five daughters' who barnstormed with a women's team.

Gabby broke his arm as a child. It didn't knit properly, and his mother insisted he carry a pail of stones or sand wherever he went, to exercise it. His father held backyard baseball clinics for four sons, all of whom played amateur or semi-pro ball. Chickie, a catcher, once signed a pro contract, but was homesick and returned to Millville before ever playing. Gabby completed eight years of schooling, went to work in the U.S. Rubber shop, and caught for the plant nine and any other team his father could get him on. He spent a year and a half at a junior college, and in 1921 signed with the Eastern League's Worcester Boosters. He batted .264, and was purchased by Chicago for $2,500. As a shy rookie, his reticent personality led to his ironic nickname.

Hartnett became Chicago's catcher by 1924, batting .299, and in 1925 hit 24 HR, though he struck out 77 times to lead the NL. In 1929, his arm went mysteriously dead in spring training, where he had reported with his new bride, Martha. Nothing helped the arm, and during a Cubs' series in Boston, he went to see his mother in Woonsocket, RI, after the games. She predicted that his arm would be better as soon as his pregnant wife delivered their child. Hartnett caught just one game that season. Junior was born December 4, and within two weeks, Gabby's arm soreness was gone.

Hartnett followed in 1930 with his best season ever, hitting .339 with career highs of 37 HR and 122 RBI. An All-Star six straight years, in the 1934 game he was the catcher when Carl Hubbell fanned Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Simmons, and Cronin in succession. He was named NL MVP in 1935, batting .344 (third in the league), topping NL catchers in assists, double plays, and fielding average, and led the Cubs to the pennant.

His finest day came on September 28, 1938. He had become the Cubs' manager in mid-season, and had his team within a half game of the first-place Pirates. With darkness and haze rapidly enveloping Wrigley Field in the ninth, and the score 5-5, two out, no one on, down 0-2 in the count, Hartnett slammed his "Homer in the Gloamin'." Three days later, the Cubs clinched the pennant.

Hartnett managed the Cubs to fifth place in 1940, was fired, and hit .300 as a 40-year-old catcher/pinch hitter for the Giants in 1941. He retired as a player, having four times led NL catchers in putouts, six times in assists, and seven in double plays. Though he topped the league in errors three of his first four seasons, he later led in fielding average six years, including a record-tying four straight from 1934-37.

After an often hectic five seasons managing in the minors, Hartnett quit baseball after 1946, opening a recreation center and bowling alley in Lincolnwood, IL. He sold it in 1964 to join Kansas City as a coach, scout, and troubleshooter for two years, but relations with manager Alvin Dark were not good, and Hartnett was dropped.

Joe McCarthy, who saw much of Mickey Cochrane and managed both Bill Dickey and Hartnett, called Gabby "The Perfect Catcher." He is widely considered the greatest NL catcher before Johnny Bench. His 20 years and 1,790 games behind the plate put him among the all-time leaders in service, and he is among the Cubs' all-time top ten in nine offensive categories. The BBWAA inducted him into Cooperstown in 1955.