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Article:Player From the Past: Bob "Hurricane" Hazle

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Robert Sidney "Hurricane" Hazle Born: December 9, 1930 in Laurens, South Carolina Died: April 25,1992 in Columbia, South Carolina

Major League Debut: September 8, 1955 Final Game: September 28, 1958

Bob" Hurricane" Hazle didn't play till the 100th game of the 1957 season when the Braves called him up after Bill Bruton had a season ending knee injury. He burst upon the scene and started hitting so soon after joining the team he acquired the nickname of Hurricane Hazle which was an coincidence since Hurricane Hazel had hit his native South Carolina in 1953.

Hazle had played 6 games for the Reds in 1955 but had been in the minors since then till he was called up in the middle of the 1957 NL pennant race. After hitting .429 after his third game he hit under .400 for one day in August and one day in September to finish with a .403 average for the season. He finished 4th in NL Rookie of the Year voting despite playing in only 41 games.

He surprisingly hit .475 on the road while hitting .296 at County Stadium in Milwaukee. He did most of his best hitting in August hitting .493 and slugging .806. In September those numbers fell to .317 and .492.

Hazle was only a one year wonder but without him the Braves may not have finished eight games ahead of the second place Cardinals.

In the 1957 World Series against the Yankees he had only 2 hits in 13 trips to the plate for a .154 average. Hazle hit .179 for the Braves in 20 games in 1958 and only hit 10 singles and slugged .179. With the return of Billy Bruton Hazle was sold to the Tigers on May 24, 1958 where he hit .241 in 43 games and never played major league baseball again.

He played for Charleston in the South Atlantic League in 1959 and retired from baseball. He worked as a salesman for a wine and spirits company in South Carolina. He died in 1992.

Bob Hazle may not be remembered as one of the greatest players in baseball history but for one summer in 1957 he helped the Braves win the 1957 NL pennant and forever would be remembered by Braves fans who witnessed that wonderful season in which Milwaukee won it's only World Series and Hazle was a big part of it.

Below is a link to a site that shows his baseball card and his grave and gives more details of his career:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13623684


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