Harry Bartholomew Hooper
Born: August 24, 1887 - Bell Station, CA
Died: December 18, 1974 - Santa Cruz, CA
Career BA: .281
Boston Red Sox AL (1909–1920)
Chicago White Sox AL (1921–1925)
An outstanding defensive player, Harry Hooper had the luck to team up with Tris Speaker and Duffy Lewis early in his career, and from 1910 to 1915 they were considered one of the greatest outfields in baseball history. As solid a ballplayer as they come, he also was a good batsman who banged out almost 2,500 hits during his career. Hooper first played baseball at Saint Mary’s College in California, where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering. He worked as a surveyor for a couple of years while playing Minor League ball before the Red Sox came calling. Hooper played on four Red Sox World Series Champion teams (1912, 1915, 1916, 1918), but his best offensive year was with the White Sox when he batted .328 with 10 round trippers in 1924.
A stellar leadoff hitter, Hooper was the first person to hit leadoff home runs in both games of a doubleheader, a feat he accomplished in 1913 that stood for 80 years until Rickey Henderson matched it. He still holds the Red Sox record for most triples (130) and stolen bases (300). October 13, 1915 saw another first for Hooper when he hit two home runs in a single World Series game, becoming the first player to do so. Over the course of his illustrious 17-year career, Hooper led the league in outs made, putouts, assists, fielding percentage and several other categories.
Considered one of the best in the game, Hooper later managed in the Pacific Coast League and coached at Princeton University in the early 1930s before leaving the baseball to become postmaster at Capitola, California, a position he held for 24 years. In his 1971 induction speech at the Hall of Fame, Hooper said that as a young kid he developed his arm by throwing rocks, and claimed to have used that method to kill rattlesnakes and even a coyote. As an engineer, Hooper constructed a very good career for himself, and certainly left his stamp on the game.
– 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