Chick Hafey

Charles James Hafey
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1971
Primary team: St. Louis Cardinals
Primary position: Outfielder

“I always thought that if Hafey had been blessed with normal eyesight and good health he might have been the best right-handed hitter baseball had ever known” Hall of Fame general manager Branch Rickey said.

Hampered by poor eyesight and severe sinus problems Hafey played just 1,283 games but still managed to amass 1,466 hits and a career batting average of .317. Hafey won one batting title and was named to the inaugural All-Star Game, where he collected the first ever hit in All-Star Game history.

Hafey was one of the first products of Rickey’s farm system, arriving in St. Louis as a rookie in 1924. He was a part of the 1926 Cardinals team that won the World Series, but was limited after suffering several beanings that season. It is believed his health problems were a result of the beanings, and he would become the most prominent player to wear glasses at that time. Hafey continued to wear glasses throughout his career and is one of two players depicted wearing glasses on their Hall of Fame plaques, joined by Reggie Jackson.

Hafey bounced back to play more than 100 games in the season for the first time in 1927. That year, Hafey led the National League in slugging percentage with a .590 mark and received MVP votes for the first time in his career.

From 1927 until his time with the cardinals came to an end after the 1931 season, Hafey played the best baseball of his career. From 1928-1930, Hafey hit at least 26 home runs and drove in more than 100 runs. Then in 1931, Hafey won one of the closest batting titles ever, beating Bill Terry and Jim Bottomley with a hit in his final at-bat of the season. Hafey then faced Al Simmons, the AL batting champion in the World Series. The Cardinals beat the Athletics in seven games for Hafey’s second World Series title in four appearances.

Hafey played his final five seasons in Cincinnati, his career came to a close in 1937 at age 34. He played more than 100 games just twice in five years with the Reds, but made All-Star history with his hit in 1933. Hafey led off the second inning with a single against Lefty Gomez and finished the game 1-for-4.

"If Hafey had good eyesight and good health, he might have been the finest right-handed hitter baseball has ever known. "
Branch Rickey

Career stats

Year Inducted: 1971
Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position Played: Outfielder
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Berkeley, California
Birth year: 1903
Died: 1973, Calistoga, California
Played for:
St. Louis Cardinals (1924-1931)
Cincinnati Reds (1932-1935)
Cincinnati Reds (1937)
At BatsAB
Home RunsHR
Stolen BasesSB
Batting AverageBA
On Base %OBP
Slugging %SLG