April 20, 1876|
|Died: June 22, 1953
|June 27, 1899 for the St. Louis Perfectos|
Last MLB appearance
|October 3, 1911 for the New York Highlanders|
Charles Judson "Eagle Eye" Hemphill (April 20, 1876 – June 22, 1953) was an outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for six different teams between 1899 and 1911. Listed at 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m), 160 lb., Hemphill batted and threw left-handed.
Basically a line-drive hitter, Hemphill entered the majors in 1899 with the St. Louis Perfectos, appearing in 11 games for them before joining the Cleveland Spiders during the midseason. The St. Louis and Cleveland clubs, both owned by the Robison Brothers, proceeded to transfer the Spiders' top players to St. Louis, leaving Cleveland with a truly awful club—they finished 20-134, the worst mark in major league history. The Spiders folded at the end of the season, and Hemphill went to the Kansas City Blues of the newly created American League in 1900; the AL was still considered a minor league that year.
In 1901, Hemphill became the first Opening Day right fielder in the Boston Red Sox' franchise history; after that, he played with the Cleveland Bronchos (1902), St. Louis Browns (1902–07) and New York Highlanders (1908–11). His most productive season came in 1902, when he hit a combined .308 batting average with Cleveland and St. Louis. He enjoyed another good season with the 1908 Yankees, hitting .298 (fourth in AL) with a career-high 42 stolen bases. His final season in the majors came with New York in 1911, where he was a teammate of Chet Hoff, in what would be Hoff's only big-league campaign. Hoff wound up being the longest-lived player in MLB history, finally passing away at age 107 in 1998—nearly a century after his old teammate Hemphill first played in the majors.
In an 11-season career, Hemphill was a .271 hitter (1230-for-4541) with 22 home runs and 421 RBI in 1242 games, including 580 runs, 117 doubles, triples, 207 stolen bases, and a .337 on-base percentage. In 1175 outfield appearances, he played at center field (607), right (525) and left (45). He also played three games at second base.
Hemphill died in Detroit, Michigan, at age 77.