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Randy Hundley
Catcher
Born: June 1, 1942 (1942-06-01) (age 67)
Martinsville, Virginia
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 27, 1964 for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1977 for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
Batting average     .236
Home runs     82
Runs batted in     381
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Cecil Randolph Hundley Jr. (born June 1, 1942 in Martinsville, Virginia) is a former professional baseball catcher who played in the Major Leagues for the San Francisco Giants for 16 at bats (1964-1965), the Chicago Cubs (1966-1973), the Minnesota Twins (1974), the San Diego Padres (1975), and for the Cubs again in 1976 and 1977.[1 ][2][3] He was a leader in the clubhouse for the strong Cubs teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was considered as the best Cubs catcher since Gabby Hartnett.[4 ] Despite being a lifetime .236 hitter, Hundley was one of the best fielding catchers of his era.

Contents

Major League Baseball career

Hundley was signed by the San Francisco Giants as an amateur free agent in 1960. [5] In 1965, he was traded to the Cubs along with future 20-game winner Bill Hands in exchange for Lindy McDaniel and Don Landrum. [5][6 ] He finished in fourth place in the 1966 National League Rookie of the Year voting.[7] Hundley was recognized as one of the best defensive catchers in the league, winning the 1967 Gold Glove Award for catchers, and setting a National League record by committing just four errors.[6 ][8] Hundley was the first catcher to begin using a new hinged catcher's mitt that permitted a one-handed catching style, protecting his throwing hand.[6 ][9] He became a stalwart for the Cubs, setting a record in 1968 with 160 games behind the plate (147 complete).[1 ][6 ][10] He also became the first player to catch 150 games for three consecutive years (1967-1969).[1 ][6 ] During the Cubs unsuccessful run for the pennant in 1969, Hundley's fielding and 18 home runs were key contributions, earning him a spot on the 1969 National League All-Star team[11][12].

After a few more years, his hard work began to wear on him.[6 ] His iron-man streak ended on April 21, 1970, when his left knee was seriously injured when the Cardinals' Carl Taylor collided with him, putting him out of action for several weeks.[13] He missed most of the 1971 season when he badly injured his right knee, and was never the same afterwards, although he bounced back to lead National League catchers with a .995 fielding percentage in 1972.[14] While Hundley was a light hitter, he was valued for his defensive skills and for the way he handled the pitching staff. Cubs' relief pitcher Phil Regan said of Hundley in 1972,"He's not only our catcher, he's our leader."[4 ] After being traded by the Cubs, he played for the Twins, Padres, and then finally back to the Cubs where he ended his career on September 25, 1977. [5]

In 14 seasons, Hundley played in 1061 games accumulating 813 career hits in 3442 at bats for a .236 batting average.[1 ] He hit 82 home runs with 381 RBIs, and had 12 career stolen bases, along with a .990 career fielding percentage.[1 ] Hundley was one of the few catchers to steal home, doing it on May 19, 1966 against Gary Kroll of the Houston Astros after tripling off Turk Farrell.[15] He also hit for the cycle on August 11 of that year in a 9-8, 11-inning win, also against the Astros.[16] That year, Hundley also picked up his career-high in home runs (19).[1 ] Hundley caught two no-hitters in 1972: Burt Hooton on April 16 and Milt Pappas on September 2.[17][18] He is one of a handful of men to catch two no-hitters in one season.

Post retirement

After leaving the playing field, Hundley originated the idea of baseball fantasy camps, and since the early 1980s, has operated them to the delight of many a middle aged fan/camper and also to the former pro players who return to the uniform to help coach the teams. For years, Hundley operated camps for many major league teams but now concentrates on the Chicago Cubs.[19] His son Todd Hundley played for 15 years as a catcher in the major leagues as well.[20]

See also

External links

References

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