On this date 83 years ago Cardinals outfielder Chick Hafey collected hits in his first two at bats against the Phillies to run his total number of hits in consecutive at bats to 10, tying a National League record.
His career lasted only 1,283 games over 12 seasons. But Hafey made the most out of it with four World Series appearances with the Redbirds -- 1926, '28, '30 and '31. He was a .317 career hitter and had six consecutive seasons of .329 or better from 1927-32. He won the league batting title with a .349 mark in 1931, edging New York's Bill Terry with a hit in his last at bat of the season. Hafey beat out Terry by .0002 points.
Former Cardinals team president and general manager Branch Rickey said Hafey might have been the best right-handed hitter in major league history had he not suffered from terrible sinus problems that forced him to have multiple surgeries which affected his vision. Hafey's eyesight fluctuated from day to day, forcing him to carry with him several pairs of glasses between which he alternated
Rickey's praise is a pretty serious compliment considering he counted Rogers Hornsby among his players with the Cardinals. Hornsby was a career .358 hitter and is the most recent National League hitter to top the .400 mark in a season.
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In 1933, Hafey played in the first All-Star Game as a member of the Reds and collected the Mid-Summer Classic's first hit. He was traded to Cincinnati by Rickey in 1932 after a series of contract disputes strained his relationship with the Cardinals.
Hafey was named to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1971. He's one of only two Hall of Fame hitters to have worn glasses. Reggie Jackson is the other. He died two years later in his native California.