From the Collection: Granny Hamner, if, Philadelphia Phillies

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Years ago, for reasons I do not remember, I went on a hunt for a decent Granny Hamner autograph to add to my collection. I am not sure what inspired me. His name? It’s fun! “Granny” makes you think he might be a little slow in the field…or have weak wrists…but “Hamner”? That sounds like a guy who hits lots of walk off home runs and slides into second with his spikes up. I don’t think it was hit name. Chances are I read about his someplace…he did play for both the Indians and A’s for a brief time (very brief…less that 100 at bats between the two organizations at the end of his career).

What I do know is that he was a fantastic player that I think many people have forgotten about.

Hamner was in the league from 1944 to 1959, and during his career would be selected to three All-Star teams and garner Top 31 MVP votes 6 times. He was also part of the 1950 “Whiz Kids” Phillies that played New York in the World Series. He was the rare (for the time) middle infielder with power and from 1950-1954 would average 14 HR/.734 OPS per season.

He won’t be selected to the Hall of Fame–though he was enshrined in the Virginia Sports HOF–but he had a very nice career.

To give some perspecting, Baseball Reference notes that Greg Gagne, Mike Bordick, Frank Bolling and Mark Ellis were similar batters. I think those are fair, especially Greg Gagne.

Year Age Tm Lg AB HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP OPS OPS+ Awards
1944 17 PHI NL 77 0 5 0 3 7 .247 .275 .535 54
1945 18 PHI NL 41 0 6 0 1 3 .171 .190 .410 16
1946 19 PHI NL 7 0 0 0 0 3 .143 .143 .286 -17
1947 20 PHI NL 7 0 0 0 1 0 .286 .375 .661 81
1948 21 PHI NL 446 3 48 2 22 39 .260 .298 .648 77
1949 22 PHI NL 662 6 53 6 25 47 .263 .290 .643 74 MVP-17
1950 23 PHI NL 637 11 82 2 39 35 .270 .314 .694 83 MVP-6
1951 24 PHI NL 589 9 72 10 5 29 32 .255 .290 .653 76
1952 ★ 25 PHI NL 596 17 87 7 3 27 51 .275 .307 .734 102 AS,MVP-31
1953 ★ 26 PHI NL 609 21 92 2 1 32 28 .276 .313 .768 97 AS,MVP-22
1954 ★ 27 PHI NL 596 13 89 1 2 53 44 .299 .351 .818 112 AS,MVP-19
1955 28 PHI NL 405 5 43 0 1 41 30 .257 .323 .666 79
1956 29 PHI NL 401 4 42 2 0 30 42 .224 .276 .605 64
1957 30 PHI NL 502 10 62 3 1 34 42 .227 .274 .618 67 MVP-23
1958 31 PHI NL 133 2 18 0 0 8 16 .301 .340 .784 107
1959 32 TOT MLB 131 3 9 0 1 6 13 .229 .261 .612 65
1959 32 PHI NL 64 2 6 0 1 5 5 .297 .348 .801 111
1959 32 CLE AL 67 1 3 0 0 1 8 .164 .174 .428 18
1962 35 KCA AL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 Yrs 5839 104 708 35 14 351 432 .262 .303 .686 84
162 Game Avg. 618 11 75 4 37 46 .262 .303 .686 84
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/7/2015.
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