Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Monday, July 5, 2010

1976 Topps #485 - Mike Hargrove



  • Mike Hargrove was known as "The Human Rain Delay" due to his propensity to step out of the box and  make adjustments between every pitch. It must have worked for him because he compiled a good hitting record over his 12-year career. Hargrove was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1972. He played in the minors in 1972 and 1973 and was promoted to the Rangers after batting .351 for class A Gastonia in 1973.
  • Hargrove mostly played first base and was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1974 as he batted .323 in 131 games. Mike played most of his games in left field in 1975 and was an All Star in 1975 (he was 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter). Hargrove batted .303 with 11 HR in 145 games in '75. Mike Hargrove: Another Winner for the Rangers - February 1975 Baseball Digest
  • Mike led the AL with 97 walks in 1976 and also had a career high with 30 doubles. He batted .287 in 151 games, mostly at first base. In 1977 Mike batted .305 with 103 walks and a career-high 18 home runs. Hargrove led the AL with 107 walks in 1978  but his batting average dipped to .251. After the 1978 season Mike was traded with Kurt Bevacqua and Bill Fahey to the San Diego Padres for Oscar GambleDave Roberts and $300,000.
  • After switching leagues Hargrove started off very slowly for the Padres. Mike was batting .192 in 52 games when he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Paul Dade on June 14. Once he returned to the American League Hargrove was back to his old self -- he batted .325 in 100 games for the Indians in 1979.
  • In 1980 Mike batted .304 with 111 walks, 11 HR, and 85 RBI. He led the AL with a .424 on base percentage in 1981 as he batted .317. Mike Hargrove: A Player for All Eras - May 1981 Baseball Digest
  • Hargrove walked 101 times and batted .271 in 1982. Mike's production and on base percentage started to slip in 1983. He batted .286 in 134 games in 1983, .267 in 133 games in 1984, and .285 in 284 at bats in 1985. Mike became a free agent after the 1985 season, didn't sign with anyone, and retired.
  • Hargrove managed in the Indians'  minor league system from 1987-1989. He then managed three major league teams. Mike took over the Cleveland Indians in 1991 and won five straight AL Central titles from 1995-1999. The Indians lost the World Series to the Atlanta Braves in 1995 but didn't make it to the World Series in subsequent seasons. Hargrove was dismissed after the 1999 season. Mike managed the Baltimore Orioles from 2000-2003 and finished fourth in the AL East all four seasons. Hargrove managed the Seattle Mariners from 2005 to July 1,2007. The Mariners weren't successful in 2005 or 2006, but they were in second place in the AL West in 2007 when Mike abruptly resigned (he said that his passion had begun to fade and it wouldn't be fair to himself or the team to continue). Hargrove now manages the semi-pro Liberal BeeJays in Kansas.
  • Liked to face: Gaylord Perry (.514 in 35 AB); Dick Tidrow (.500 in 24 AB); Paul Mitchell (.480 in 25 AB)
  • Hated to face: Jerry Garvin/Chuck Rainey (.000 in 11 AB); Dave Righetti (.056 in 18 AB); Mike Flanagan (.079 in 38 AB)

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