Hatton's 1949 Bowman Gum baseball card
|Third baseman / Manager|
October 7, 1922|
|Died: April 11, 2013
|April 16, 1946, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1960, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||533|
|Career highlights and awards|
Grady Edgebert Hatton Jr. (October 7, 1922 – April 11, 2013) was an American baseball player, coach, manager and executive. Although the bulk of his playing career was as the third baseman and second baseman of the Cincinnati Reds, Hatton is most identified with his native Texas: he was born in Beaumont, attended the University of Texas at Austin, managed minor league teams in Houston and San Antonio, and was an important contributor to the early years of Major League Baseball's Houston Astros.
Hatton batted left-handed and threw right-handed, standing 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) and weighing 170 lb (77 kg). He came to the Majors in 1946 without any minor league seasoning after serving in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Hatton made his MLB debut against the Chicago Cubs on April 16, going three for five with two runs batted in in a 4–3 loss. Hatton would bat .254 with 91 home runs and 1,068 hits over his 12-year big league career in 1,312 games played.
He appeared in 116 games in 1946, the first of his six consecutive seasons as Cincinnati's regular third baseman. In 1952, Hatton moved to second base and was selected to the National League All-Star team, although he didn't play in the July 8 game at Shibe Park (and hit only .212 for the season).
However, his tenure in Cincinnati was coming to an abrupt end; in 1954 he appeared in only one game for the Redlegs before being traded to the Chicago White Sox on April 18. The ChiSox in turn sent him to the Boston Red Sox five weeks later—swapping him and cash for eventual Hall of Fame third baseman George Kell. He was Boston's regular third baseman in 1954–55, then spent 1956 in a utility role for the Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles. In 1957 he finally played in the minor leagues, for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League.
From 1958–60, Hatton was the player-manager of the Double-A San Antonio Missions (and briefly served as a playing coach for the 1960 Cubs). He started the 1961 campaign as manager of the Triple-A Houston Buffs, but he resigned early in the season to become the director of player personnel for the expansion Houston Colt .45s of the National League, set to begin play in 1962. He moved back into uniform as manager of Houston's Triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers farm in the Pacific Coast League from 1963–65 and was named minor league manager of the year for 1965 by The Sporting News.
Named to succeed Luman Harris as the (renamed) Astros' manager for 1966—and also carrying the unusual (for a field manager) additional title of club vice president—it was expected that he would be able to harness the young talent he had developed at Triple-A. But his Astros compiled a record of only 164–221 in 2½ years, and Hatton was replaced as skipper by Harry Walker midway through the 1968 campaign on June 17.
Post-managerial and coaching career
Hatton died from natural causes on April 11, 2013. He was 90.
- Baseball in Wartime.com
- Retrosheet box score, 1946-4-16
- "Hatton Returns to Oklahoma City". San Antonio Light. November 11, 1964. p. 40.
- Grady Hatton, the former third baseman who managed the Houston Astros in 1960s, has died
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference