TheBaseballPage.com

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

Harry Bartholomew Hooper (August 24, 1887 – December 18, 1974), Hooper prided himself on being a college man of high ideals during an era when most ballplayers weren't, and he nearly became a civil engineer before the lure of big money led him to sign with the Red Sox for $2,850 in 1909. Extremely popular with teammates, fans, and even opponents, he was the right fielder in the fabled "Million Dollar Outfield" with Tris Speaker and Duffy Lewis. He taught himself to play the difficult sun field and invented the famous rump slide to snare short flies and stop with his body those he could not reach. His strong, accurate arm accounted for 150 of the trio's 455 assists. Hooper never led the American League in any of the important offensive categories, but he did compile a valuable .403 on-base average as the Red Sox leadoff hitter from 1909 to 1920, and became the Red Sox' all-time leader in triples with 130 and in stolen bases with 300. He went on to collect 2,466 hits over 17 seasons.

The strongly religious Hooper was reputed to have prayed for a Boston victory in the final game of the 1912 Series and to have attributed to divine intervention his bare-handed, game-saving catch off Larry Doyle which prevented victory by the Giants. Years later at an old-timers' game, Doyle was asked if he remembered Hooper and replied, "How in hell can I ever forget him!" In 1915 Hooper became the first player to hit two homers in a single World Series game.

Recalling his years with the Red Sox, Hooper told Lawrence Ritter that it was he who convinced manager Ed Barrow to move young Babe Ruth to the outfield on the days when Ruth was not pitching in order to exploit Ruth's crowd appeal and ability as a slugger. That was in 1919, shortly before owner Harry Frazee sold off his best players, including Ruth, for cash. Disgusted by the sales, Hooper held out for a salary of $15,000. Frazee dealt Hooper for cash and two reserve outfielders to the Chicago White Sox, whose owner, Charlie Comiskey, hoped that the acquisition of a big-name player would restore credibility to his franchise, which had been shattered by the Black Sox scandal. The unhappy Hooper threatened to retire, but finally joined the White Sox for a salary of $13,250 which he told Comiskey he would accept as a goodwill gesture toward the new club. Five years later, when the White Sox had seemingly righted themselves with an influx of young talent, Comiskey reduced Hooper's salary to a stingy $7,000.

Hooper retired to enter the booming real estate market. He later coached baseball at Princeton and was the postmaster of Capitola, California. In 1971 Hooper was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

This day in baseball history

July 07

  • 1991

    On July 7, 1991, American League umpire Steve Palermo is sho ...

  • 1971

    On July 7, 1971, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces that Negr ...

  • 1964

    On July 7, 1964, the National League defeats the American Le ...

More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

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

Comments

  • johnz308 said: Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please also seek advice from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us! Official Unlocks 2:34PM 07/01/15
  • johnz308 said: I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well! kangertech 11:37AM 07/01/15
  • johnz308 said: Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback. http://languageofdesires.com 2:56PM 06/29/15
Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014:
Browse Player Profiles