Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1976 Topps #228 - John Hale

  • John Hale played for the LA Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners from 1974-1979. I remember him because Street and Smith's Baseball had a picture of him and a blurb saying that he was a guy to watch. Unfortunately for him, the Dodgers were pretty solid in the outfield and he couldn't break into the lineup.
  • Hale signed with the Dodgers in 1971 and climbed the ladder in their minor league system. He was a September call up in 1974 but didn't play much. He did bat 1.000 (4 for 4). In 1975 John split the season between AAA Albuquerque and the Dodgers. He batted .211 in 204 at bats for the Dodgers in '75.
  • John started the 1976 season with the Dodgers but was sent back to Albuquerque in late May. He had a good season in Albuquerque, batting .321 with 12 homers. Hale came back to the Dodgers in September but ended up batting only .154 in 91 at bats for the year.
  • In 1977 Hale was with the Dodgers as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement for most of the season. He batted .241 in 108 at bats, spent August in Albuquerque, then was waived to the Toronto Blue Jays. He then was purchased by the Seattle Mariners but didn't see any more action during the 1977 season.
  • Hale played in 107 games with the Mariners in 1978 and batted .171 in 211 at bats. In 1979 he stayed with the Mariners for the season but played in only 54 games and batted 63 times. He was batting .222 when Seattle released him on August 9.
  • John was signed by the Cincinnati Reds and played for AAA Indianapolis in 1980, where he had a nice year (.274 with 27 HR). The Reds traded him to the Baltimore Orioles before the 1981 season. John split the 1981 season between Baltimore's Rochester club and Denver (in the Montreal Expos' organization). John called it quits after the 1981 season. He played in the longest baseball game ever on April 18-19, 1981 (Rochester vs. Pawtucket) and was thrown out trying to score in the 32nd inning. The game lasted over eight hours and ended in a tie. The game was finished on June 23 and Pawtucket won in the 33rd inning.
  • John currently runs a real estate brokerage in Bakersfield, CA.

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