Jim Ray Hart
|Jim Ray Hart|
|Third baseman / Left fielder|
|Born: October 30, 1941|
Hookerton, North Carolina
|Died: May 19, 2016 (aged 74)|
|July 7, 1963, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 27, 1974, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||578|
|Career highlights and awards|
James Ray Hart (October 30, 1941 – May 19, 2016) was a third baseman in Major League Baseball. He played for the National League's San Francisco Giants from 1963 to 1973 and the American League's New York Yankees in 1973 and 1974. Hart batted and threw right-handed. In a 12-season career, Hart posted a .278 batting average, with 170 home runs and 578 runs batted in (RBIs) in 1,125 Major League games played.
Hart had some notable achievements in baseball, including: tying for second with Rico Carty in NL Rookie of the Year award voting in 1964 (they both finished behind Dick Allen); playing in the All-Star game for the National League in 1966; being named NL Player of the Month in July 1967 (.355, 13 HR, 30 RBI); and hitting for the cycle on July 8, 1970. That same day, he also became one of a select few players to have six RBIs in one inning. He did this by hitting a three-run triple and a three-run home run in the fifth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves.
However, Hart had a reputation as a poor defensive player at third base. He finished second, first and second among National League third basemen in errors in his first three full seasons in the majors (1964–66), never again playing as many as 90 games at third in a season after that. In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James ranked Hart as the 74th-best third baseman of all time, writing about him, "A better hitter than 59 of the 73 men listed ahead of him at third base. This should tell you all you need to know about his defense."
Following his release from the major leagues in 1974, Hart played in Mexico before retiring from baseball in 1976.
Hart joined the Teamsters as a warehouseman for Safeway supermarkets in Richmond, California, and later to Tracy, California, when operations moved there in 1992; he retired from Safeway in 2006.
Hart died on May 19, 2016.
- Carroll (February 15, 2015). "Want Power? You Gotta Have Hart". 1960s Baseball Blog.
- DrBGiantsfan (January 9, 2010). "Blast From the Past: Jim Ray Hart". When the Giants Come to Town...
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet
- Jim Ray Hart at Find a Grave
|Awards and achievements|
| Major League Player of the Month
| Hitting for the cycle
July 8, 1970