Tuesday, March 23, 2010

1976 Topps #391 - Jerry Hairston

  • Jerry Hairston's family has had several major league players. As the card says, Jerry's father was a catcher for the Chicago White Sox in 1951 and his brother Johnny was a catcher for the Cubs in 1969. Two of Jerry's sons (Jerry  Jr. and Scott) have also played in the majors.

  • Jerry had two stints in the major leagues. His first stint was from 1973-1977 and the second was from 1981-1989. Hairston was a 3rd round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1970.  He progressed through the minor leagues and was first promoted to the majors in July 1973 after batting .347 in AAA Iowa during the first half of the season. Jerry batted .271 in 210 at bats for the White Sox in 1973.

  • Jerry also played in Mexico during the winter and met his wife there. They were married on January 6, 1974. Hairston started the 1974 season with the White Sox but after starting the season with a .157 batting average he was sent back to Iowa in late June. Jerry batted .373 in 42 games at Iowa and he was brought back to the White Sox in late August. Hairston ended up batting .229 in 45 games for the White Sox in 1974.

  • Jerry didn't get much playing time for the White Sox at the beginning of the 1975 season (5 games in the first month) and was sent to AAA Denver. Hairston batted .367 in 40 games in Denver and came back to Chicago in late June. Hairston batted .283 in 69 games for the White Sox in 1975.

  • In 1976 Jerry again split time between AAA and the majors. He managed to post good on base percentages in the minors. In fact, his lowest OBP in the minors was .374 and he had a few seasons of .400 and even .500 OBPs. His biggest knocks where that he didn't hit many homers or steal many bases. Hairston ended up batting .227 in 119 at bats for the White Sox in 1976.

  • Hariston started the 1977 season with the White Sox and batted .308 in 13 games. On June 13 he was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates and batted .192 in 52 at bats, mostly as a pinch hitter. Before the 1978 season Jerry was purchased by the Durango club (Mexican League). Hairston played in the Mexican league from 1978 to the end of the 1981 season. On September 10, 1981 Hairston was purchased by the White Sox. Jerry batted .280 in 25 at bats to finish the 1981 season.

  • Hairston was mostly a pinch hitter and designated hitter for the second phase of his career. In 1982 he batted .233 in 90 at bats. His best year in the 1980s was 1983 when he batted .294 with 5 home runs in 126 at bats. On April 15 Hairston broke up a perfect game by Milt Wilcox of the Detroit Tigers by singling with 2 out in the 9th inning. Jerry was 0 for 3 in the 1983 ALCS.

  • Jerry batted .260 with 5 HR in 227 at bats in 1984 and .243 in 140 at bats in 1985. Hairston batted .271 in 225 at bats in 1986 and .230 in 126 at bats in 1987. Jerry was released during spring training in 1988 but signed with the White Sox on August 31 and was 0 for 2 as a pinch hitter. He was released at the end of the season and signed again with the White Sox on September 1, 1989. Jerry was 0 for 3 in 1989 and then retired.

  • Jerry is currently the hitting coach of the rookie league Bristol White Sox. He managed the club from 2003-2005, then was the hitting coach for Great Falls in the Pioneer League in 2006. Hairston has been the hitting coach for Bristol since 2006.

  • Liked to face: Dave Goltz (.571 in 14 AB); Dan Petry (.467 in 15 AB); Bert Blyleven (.364 in 22 AB)

  • Hated to face: Mike Witt (.000 in 14 AB); Fergie Jenkins (.067 in 15 AB); Ray Burris (.143 in 14 AB)

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