Thursday, September 22, 2016
no. 578 - ron hunt
Who is the man: Ron Hunt was in the middle of what would be his most famous season when this card was issued. He would end 1971 with a still unmatched 50 hit-by-pitches for the year.
Can ya dig it: Hunt is wearing a San Francisco Giants jersey and cap in this photo. He was traded to the Expos in late December 1970.
Right on: I came across so many mentions of Ron Hunt on the back of my baseball cards when I was kid in the 1970s that I knew his legacy of being hit without ever watching him play. Hunt's career HBP total has since been surpassed by Don Baylor and Craig Biggio, but no one was praised more for his ability to literally take a pitch than Hunt.
You see that cat Hunt is a bad mother: Hunt would frequently toss the ball back to the pitcher after getting hit by a pitch. Imagine a batter doing that now. There'd be riots.
Shut your mouth: When Hunt retired, he held records for most HBPs for a career, a season, consecutive seasons (7) and in a game (3). "They may be dumb records," Hunt said. "But they're the only ones I got."
No one understands him but his woman: Hunt was involved in the first trade between the Dodgers and the Giants since both teams moved out to the West Coast before the 1958 season. He was dealt from L.A., along with Nate Oliver. to San Francisco for Tom Haller and a minor leaguer.
(A word about the back): I believe the NL record that Hunt set for career HBPs surpassed the career mark by Honus Wagner, who was hit by 125 pitches. Frank Chance had around the same total. It's a bit difficult to determine whose record Hunt passed because a lot of prominent HBPers played in the 1800s (Chance was one of them) and pre-1900 stats are often discounted.