Dick Hall (Swarthmore, Class of 1952)
Hall’s SABR bio by Nelson ‘Chip’ Greene is at https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/0cfab8b4. At Swarthmore, 14 miles southwest of Philadelphia, Hall earned 11 varsity letters in five sports: baseball, football, basketball, track and field, and soccer. He was All-League in football and basketball. His long jump mark of 23 feet, three inches still stands. Hall is the Garnet’s all-time leader in ERA (1.69) and strikeouts (281) and tied for third with thirteen wins and 213.1 IP. Swarthmore’s top three single-season strikeout marks are Hall’s 108 (1950), 87 (1951) and 86 (1949). His 1.01 ERA in 1950 and 1.08 ERA (1951) rank one-two all-time. Hall’s 1951 hitting show a .510/.587/.962 slash line and 1.549 OPS, best in school history! His six HR in 1951 (13 games) were tied by Jimmy Gill and Spencer Ross in 2010, a 38-game season. Hall’s .412 career batting average is Swarthmore’s best, with Jeff Clark (1989-1992) next at .398. In 2012, Hall was inducted in the college’s first-ever Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame. (Lee MacPhail Jr. was inducted in the 2018 ceremony.) https://www.swarthmore.edu/garnet-homecoming-and-family-weekend-2018/garnet-athletics-hall-fame-ceremony
Pro Baseball Career
Pittsburgh gave him a Fall 1951 tryout at Forbes Field, watched by Branch Rickey Sr., Pittsburgh’s executive vice-president and GM. Hall stayed at Rickey’s house and did well, as evidenced by Branch Rickey Jr.—Pittsburgh’s farm system director—visiting Swarthmore in September 1951, to offer him a four-year $16,000 bonus ($4,000/year for four years), plus a guaranteed $5,000 salary for 1952 and 1953, MLB minimum then. Total value was $26,000. (Sandy Koufax received a $14,000 bonus from Brooklyn in 1954, plus a $6,000 salary for both 1955 and 1956, when he was kept on the Dodgers roster as a bonus baby: a $26,000 total value.)
“Mr. Rickey was very comfortable with me and my Swarthmore background,” said Hall. “He had a daughter [Alice Rickey Jakle] educated at Swarthmore. Another daughter [Elizabeth Rickey] married Lindsay Wolfe, who earned a 1942 engineering degree from Swarthmore.” https://www.beisbol101.com/dick-siete-leguas-hall-part-i-swarthmore-college-minors-mexicos-liga-de-la-costa-del-pacifico-pittsburgh-pirates-and-kansas-city-as/
1953 Spring Training: Havana, Cuba
Hall experienced Havana, Cuba, spring training 1953, when Pittsburgh’s headquarters were at the Marbella Yacht Club, 23 miles from downtown Havana. Fifty sleeping rooms were provided in the Yacht Club, plus 25 cottages for Pirates officials, near the yacht club. The Cuban government and Sports Commission covered the $300,000 cost of these facilities. Training quarters included a new baseball diamond and concrete grandstand with capacity for 5,000 fans. Exhibition games were held at night, at Havana’s Grand Stadium, site of Winter League games. Hall liked Havana, where speaking and hearing Spanish were more useful than one semester of Spanish at Swarthmore and three years in high school. Carlos Bernier and Felipe Montemayor were the only 1953 native Spanish-speaking Pirates.
Twenty Homers: Mexican Pacific League (1953-54) and Transition to Pitcher (1954-55)
Pittsburgh sent Hall to Mazatlán, Mexico, 1953-54 six-team, 80-game “Liga de la Costa del Pacífico” (Mexican Pacific Coast League]. He led the league with 20 homers. The season began October 2, 1953 and ended on Valentine’s Day 1954. Teams played 20 four-game series, Friday-Saturday-Sunday double header (10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Hall picked up Spanish quickly. Venados (Deer) de Mazatlán (48-32) edged the 47-33 Mayos de Navojoa by one game. Guillermo “Memo” Garibay was Hall’s manager. League teams were allowed five imported players.
Mazatlán teammate Procopio “Bobby” Herrera gave Hall a special nickname— “Siete Leguas”—in honor of the white horse ridden by Pancho Villa (José Doroteo Aranga Arámbula) in Mexico’s 1910 – 1920 Revolution. “I had a smooth gait when I ran,” said Hall. “Bobby pitched (briefly) for the 1951 St. Louis Browns.” Seven leguas is 24 miles, or 38.6 kilometers, the distance Pancho Villa’s horse covered in a day, versus 30 kilometers (18.64 miles)/day covered by most horses during Mexico’s Revolution. Libertad Lamarque, Miguel Aceves Mejía and Pedro Infante, a native of Mazatlán, memorialized Siete Leguas, via a song. Infante’s version is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNhhARRxB_Q
Hall’s career changed in a December 17-19, 1954, series against Hermosillo. Memo Garibay summoned him from the OF to replace Procopio Herrera. Hall blanked Hermosillo the last six innings, to win, 3-to-1. “Howie Haak was at this game; he sent word back to Pittsburgh to make a pitcher out of me,” said Hall. Mazatlán ((47-33) repeated as league champion, with a three-game lead over the Naranjeros (Orange Growers) de Hermosillo, with Luke Easter, league MVP who hit 20 HR, and LHP Gene Bearden. Mazatlán bested Poza Rica Petroleros in the “Little World Series,” three games-to-one. Ron Kline saved games two and four for Mazatlán; Montemayor homered in a game one loss. Hall’s most special moment happened a Sunday night in Mazatlán. Ron Kline had danced with a lovely lady at a dance hall near the Pacific Ocean. He asked Hall to walk her home because he (Kline) could not speak Spanish. “I married her—María Elena Nieto—on December 31, 1955,” said Hall. “This way, we could file our taxes jointly.”
Friendship with Carlos Bernier and Roberto Clemente
Hall, Bernier’s teammate with 1959 Salt Lake City, Pacific Coast League, did tax returns for Bernier and Cuban hurler Ed Bauta, another teammate. (Hall studied Accounting at the University of Utah’s Graduate School of Business in 1958.) Hall’s friendship with Clemente included conversing in Spanish off the field, but not tax returns. He gave up Clemente’s first home run (wearing the Pittsburgh uniform) in spring training, 1955, Myers—Inter-squad game.
Hall’s Baltimore Orioles Seasons
Hall’s best big-league pitching was for Baltimore. He retired after the 1971 World Series. https://sabr.org/journal/article/dick-halls-baltimore-legacy/ Hall is on Baltimore (and St. Louis Browns) all-time, 25-man roster, https://www.baseball-fever.com/forum/american-league/baltimore-orioles/95065-orioles-all-time-25-man-roster
Table IV: Dick Hall Pitching Stats, Baltimore Orioles, 1961-66 and 1969-1971
Craig Anderson (Lehigh, Class of 1960)
The author met Anderson at Lackawanna County Stadium, Moosic, Pennsylvania, circa 1990, when the latter was in the area for a summer baseball camp hosted by Keystone Junior College, the author’s employer. Coincidentally, Anderson and the author were both born in Washington, D.C., and have master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. In 1990, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons were the Phillies’ Triple A team. Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders are currently affiliated with the New York Yankees at the AAA level.
Lehigh to Tulsa/Portland to St. Louis to Santurce to Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium
Anderson posted a career ERA of 1.89 at Lehigh, lowest ERA in their baseball history. He was a dominating power pitcher and won all six Engineers’ victories his junior season. He recorded a school record 18 strikeouts in a game, a record that still stands. Anderson fanned 289 batters in 189 innings over his four years with one no-hitter. In 2001 he was inducted into the Roger S. Penske-Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame. https://lehighsports.com/honors/rogers-penske-lehigh-athletics-hall-of-fame/craig-anderson/89
He pitched effectively for Tulsa and Portland, St. Louis Cardinals minor-league affiliates for skipper Vern Benson, before posting a 4-3 mark for the 1961 St. Louis Cardinals (80-74), last NL season with a 154-game schedule. “Stan Musial’s grand slam helped me win my first big-league game,” said Anderson. “Benson asked me to pitch for the 1961-62 Santurce Crabbers.”
Santurce (42-38) finished third of six teams, but bested Caguas (4 games-to-3) in the semis, before sweeping Mayagüez in the finals, to win the Puerto Rico Winter League title. The Crabbers (8-1 record) then won the February 6-14, 1962, Inter-American Series at Sixto Escobar Stadium, playing the Caracas Lions (5-4 record), last-place (1-8) Marlboro Smokers (Panamá-Nicaragua champions), and Mayagüez (4-5 mark). Anderson pitched against all three teams:
- February 8, 1962—no-decision versus Mayagüez, allowing one run in seven frames (Orlando Peña won in relief, when Santurce scored twice in the ninth)
- February 10—saved Bob Gibson’s 5-2 win over Caracas, when Gibson tired in the ninth (Gibson, Leo Cárdenas and Tony González homered for Santurce)
- February 13—blanked Marlboro, 2-0, with Valmy Thomas catching this gem. More details are in this blog: https://www.beisbol101.com/craig-anderson-and-february-6-14-1962-inter-american-series/
Anderson’s SABR bio https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/craig-anderson/ includes details on his 1962-1964 New York Mets’ seasons, including winning both games of a twin-bill versus Milwaukee, May 12, 1962. Casey Stengel was his Mets’ skipper, 1962-1964. Anderson started the final NL game at the Polo Grounds, September 18, 1963, a 5-1 loss to the Phillies. Paid attendance was 1,752. Doug Harvey—who umpired in the 1961-62 PRWL—was behind the plate. Ed Bauta, who roomed with Anderson at Portland (1961), was one of three Mets’ relievers
Paul Hartzell (Lehigh, Class of 1975)
On December 9, 2021, Hartzell shared the following responses with the author, via e-mail:
Were you on a partial Scholarship at Lehigh, 1971-75? “No, not a penny. My father said when I was considering college that he did not want me to have the pressure of «having to play a sport» because I was on a partial (or from some other schools, full scholarship). I played basketball on the freshman team and then 15 games for the varsity my sophomore year. I started a few games as I recall. When baseball practice started in February of my sophomore year, I ended my association with the basketball team. In my Junior and Senior years, I was the coach for our fraternity team which was undefeated in intramural competition (winning more than 30 games without a loss) and won the Bethlehem City League my senior year which had a lot of guys who played in college. That was the first (and perhaps only) time a Lehigh team had won the city league championship.”
Do you recall if you took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and what your total SAT score might have been? “I had a total score of 1290. 690 in math and 600 in verbal.”
Do you remember what actual room/board, tuition, incidentals, etc. cost at Lehigh five decades ago? “I had the bursar’s receipt from my last semester for many years after graduation. That is tuition only. It was less than $1,900 for the semester. I recall room and board at the fraternity a bit less at about $1,700. Another $400 for books and incidentals and we get to $4,000 per semester. I know it was somewhat less than that as a freshman but not by a whole lot.”
Joe Maddon caught for Lafayette (Easton, PA) and was QB on their football team, one season. “I pitched against Joe when he was at Lafayette both my Junior and Senior years. He probably got a few hits, but I remember it took him a while to get from home to first! Wonderful baseball mind and MLB manager. A credit to that region of Pennsylvania.
A separate Hartzell’s e-mail noted: “Don’t forget my degree is in Mechanical Engineering!” His senior season at Lehigh featured a 6-4 record and 1.66 ERA, for the 12-16 Engineers. He completed all 10 starts; relieved twice; fanned 83 and walked 33, in 92 innings. Stan Schultz, Lehigh’s head baseball coach, told the author: “Paul was a fierce competitor with a good sinker ball, a team leader who let actions speak louder than words.”
Craig Anderson, Hartzell’s pitching coach at Lehigh, stated: “Paul Hartzell was one of the finest pitching prospects I ever coached. At 6’5,” he had all the tools to be able to play at the next level even as a freshman. He worked hard and improved each year. His summer experience put him over the top and he sure made us proud.” https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/paul-hartzell/
Pat Kelly caught Hartzell at Quad Cities (Class A), 1975, when Hartzell started once in 24 games, with a 2-1 record, 1.37 ERA, five saves, 37 strikeouts and 12 walks, in 46 innings. “Hartzell was very intimidating on the mound and dominated the league with his sinker and slider,” recalled Kelly, who later managed Mayagüez, Arecibo and San Juan in the PRWL.
Important Phone Call
Craig Anderson called the [California] Angels spring training facility, early April 1976, to check on Hartzell. Joe Maddon, a 22-year-old catcher in the Angels minor-league camp, took the call, and said: “Hartzell is going to make the major-league club.”
Magnificent 1976-77 PRWL Season
Hartzell was 8-2, with a 2.92 ERA for Santurce, in 92.1 innings. Crabbers’ skipper Jack McKeon opined on Hartzell: “Good sinker, good control, real competitor, fun to manage, hard worker.” https://www.beisbol101.com/paul-hartzell-recalls-1976-77-santurce-crabbers/
Player Representation and Hartzell’s Good Business Sense/Timing
Hartzell signed with IMG early in the 1977 season, represented by the late George Kalafatis, noting: “My paycheck went directly to IMG, and they paid me an «allowance» which was a good learning experience for me and my wife, both at the age of twenty-three and owners of our first house.” The highlight of his 1977 season came at Anaheim Stadium, June 26, winning both ends of a doubleheader: 4-3, game one, with two scoreless relief frames; and, a 4-3 victory, game two, in relief of his close friend Ken Brett—whom he pitched against in Puerto Rico, 1976-77 season. (Brett was a DH for the Bayamón Cowboys.)
In 1978 contract negotiations between Hartzell and Buzzie Bavasi—who took GM duties away from Harry Dalton after 1977—Bavasi received a formal business later, delivered by courier, asking for Hartzell’s terms of employment by the Angels. (Hartzell had a second cousin, a senior vice-president of Gulf Oil, based in Los Angeles.) Hartzell’s cousin specified that Gulf would offer the pitcher $75,000 per year to work full-time as an engineer. “I got a call from Mike Port asking me to come to the Angels office, and when I got there, a contract was ready for the $72,000 figure I was asking for and not a word was mentioned about the Gulf Oil letter,” stated Hartzell. “That was probably one of the few times anyone ever got the best of Buzzie!” Hartzell is #91, all-time, on the “Greatest Angels of All-Time,” per https://www.halosheaven.com/2020/4/20/21228644/no-91-greatest-angels-of-all-time-paul-hartzell Juan José Beníquez, Hartzell’s 1976-77 Santurce teammate, is #100 on the same list. https://crashingthepearlygates.com/2020/03/13/top-100-angels-100-juan-beniquez/ Paul Hartzell, California Angels. Photo credit: www.sabr.org.
In 1998, Hartzell was inducted into the Roger S. Penske-Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame.