On this day in 1930 Robert Sidney Hazle was born in Laurens, South Carolina. He was 19 when the Reds signed him as an amateur free agent in 1950 but had to wait a long time for his first major league opportunity.
Hazle was 26 and had still appeared in just six major league games when the Milwaukee Braves, who had acquired him the previous season, finally called him up to the big leagues for the first time. Hazle certainly took advantage of the opportunity, hitting .403/.477/.649 in 41 games down the stretch. Despite appearing in just 41 games, he received votes for Rookie of the Year.
Hazle was a surprising part of the reason the 1957 Braves won the pennant and went on to win the World Series, but he was unable to carry that momentum into 1958. The Braves traded him away after he hit .179/.303/.179 in his first 20 games in 1958, and he made just 43 more major league appearances.
Hazle passed away in 1992, or he would have turned 82 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 1977, 1980-85 and 1989 Brewer Ed Romero, who turns 55.
- 1982 Brewer Doc Medich, who turns 64.
Today is also the 35th anniversary of a 1977 trade that brought Ben Oglivie to Milwaukee. We covered that event in this space last year.