Friday, August 12, 2011
Vintage Fridays: Bert Hamric, 1958 Topps #336
But back to Mr. Hamric. He got his start in the Brooklyn Dodgers chain, entering pro ball at Class D Cambridge in 1949. Subsequently, Bert didn't reach AAA until 26. That was 1954, and he made up for lost time by hitting .350 in 88 games at St. Paul. The Dodgers gave him a glimpse of the big leagues the following April, but his experience consisted of two late-game appearances. He pinch-ran on the 24th and struck out as a pinch hitter against Bob Rush of the Cubs on the 28th. Then it was back to the minors, where he stayed until the O's claimed him in the Rule 5 draft in December 1957.
He made the big league roster to start the 1958 season, but received minor injuries in a car accident and had to sit out a few weeks. Throughout the month of May, he was used eight times as a pinch hitter with less-than-ideal results. He struck out six times, popped out once, and mercifully singled off of Bob Turley on May 14 for his only career hit. The 30-year-old rookie was sent to AAA Miami in June, and stayed there for two-plus seasons. He bounced around the minors through the 1961 season before hanging up his spikes with a total of 1,529 minor league games played compared to just 10 in the majors. But he did make it there - twice - and even collected a hit against an All-Star pitcher. All in a day's work.