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Harry Hooper

Harry Hooper

Position(s):
OF, P
Nicknames:
Hoop
Born:
August 24, 1887
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 10"
Weight:
168 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-16-1909 with BOS
Hall of Fame:
1971

Intro

Gutsy little Harry Hooper excelled on the big stage. In the final game of the 1912 World Series he made an incredible barehanded catch of Larry Doyle's drive to right field, preserving the win for Boston. Hooper was the first player to hit two home runs in a World Series game, and he contributed to four Red Sox championships with a .293 average from the leadoff spot. With Duffy Lewis and Tris Speaker, Hooper formed Boston's famous "Million-Dollar Outfield."

Replaced By

Hooper retired from the big leagues after the 1925 season, and in '26 the White Sox had Bill Barrett in right field. Barrett was so shy he was dubbed "Whispering Bill."

Best Season

It's difficult to choose a best season for Hooper. He had decent offensive numbers with the White Sox in the 1920s, but that was after the juice was added to the game and every outfielder was hitting .300 plus. His peak seasons came when the ball was dead (1910-1919). He was a leadoff hitter with good pop, finishing in the top ten in triples seven times and homers three times. In 1913 he hit .288 in a .256 league, had the most total bases of his dead-ball years, and stole 26 while scoring 100 runs.

Factoid 1

On May 30, 1913, Harry Hooper became the first player to hit a home run to lead off both games of a doubleheader. He accomplished this against the Senators. It took 80 years for anyone to match this feat, when Rickey Henderson did so.

Factoid 2

Outfielder Harry Hooper was the first American Leaguer to wear "flip-down" sunglasses in a game. He wore them in in 1911.

Transition

March 4, 1921: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Chicago White Sox for Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold. After Boston owner Harrison Frazee sold off most of his star players, including Babe Ruth, Hooper was determined to get his just dues. In 1919 and again in 1920, Hooper held out for more money, but after agreeing to a contract, was dealt to the White Sox prior to the 1921 season for Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold, both outfielders. Both of those players best years were behind them and the deal turned out to be a good one for the ChiSox, who got five solid years from Hooper.

Strengths

His throwing arm.

Weaknesses

Lack of Power.

Notes

Hooper was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971. That was the era when just about anyone who had played the outfield between 1920 and 1935 and was still living, was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

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Tagged:
1912 World Series, 1971 Hall of Fame, Baseball History, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Harry Hooper

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