Harold Chandler “Hal” Janvrin
Born: August 27, 1892 - Haverhill, MA
Died: March 1, 1962 - Boston, MA
Career BA: .232
Boston Red Sox AL (1911, 1913–1917)
Washington Senators AL (1919)
St. Louis Cardinals NL (1919–1921)
Brooklyn Robins NL (1921–1922)
One of the most prolific athletes to come out the Boston school system, Hal Janvrin, never quite lived up to his expectations. Although he had value defensively at various infield positions, he was essentially a part-time player, often appearing late in a game for defensive purposes.
Sometimes referred to as the greatest schoolboy athlete in Massachusetts history, Janvrin excelled at baseball, football, track and hockey at Boston English High School, attracting large crowds to his games. The Red Sox brought Janvrin up right out of high school, which earned him the nickname of “Childe Harold.” Unfortunately, fans expect big things of a local hero playing for the local pro team. Right out of the gate, Janvrin got off to a slow start and the fans got on him. After about 15 games, the Sox sent him down to the minors for some seasoning. Janvrin rejoined the team in 1913, and was lucky enough to play on the great Red Sox World Series Champs teams of 1915 and 1916.
We have him listed as a shortstop, although he could certainly be listed as a second baseman. One particular point of interest is that he had eight assists in one World Series game and set a record for most at-bats (23) in a five-game Series. Offensively his most productive year was in 1914 when he batted .238 with 117 hits. Janvrin served as second lieutenant in the Army during WWI and was traded to the Senators upon his return. He bounced around the majors for a few years and played in the minors through 1924.
Janvrin then played and managed in Boston’s Twilight League, coached for Harvard in the 1930s and scouted for the Indians in the 1950s. He owned a bowling alley, worked for the department of Civil Defense during WWII, and later worked for the Internal Revenue Service. Still a well-rounded athlete, Janvrin played semi-pro hockey in Boston after his baseball days. He was the grandfather of Dave Silk, who played on the 1980 United States gold medal hockey team and later played in the NHL.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html