September 8, 1942 |
Fort Wayne, Indiana
|August 3, 1965, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 15, 1977, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Earned run average||3.92|
|Career highlights and awards|
The son of Lowell and Florence Hargan, he grew up in Fort Wayne and excelled in basketball and football at South Side High School, from which he graduated in 1961. However, the school did not have an organized baseball team; he played on Pony League, Junior Federation and Connie Mack League teams and by the spring of 1961 he was being scouted by five Major League teams. He signed with the Cleveland Indians, who offered him a contract after he pitched with other prospects in a tryout at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the home of the Indians.
On August 2, 1965, Hargan made his first major-league start, at home against the Detroit Tigers. He said his debut “was quite exciting. I remember I started against Mickey Lolich and he was already an established pitcher. I was trying too hard and throwing as hard as I could.” He cruised through the first three innings and led 4–0, but then he gave up two runs in the fourth inning, and was lifted after giving up three runs in the fifth without retiring a batter. He got a no-decision as the Indians lost 12–7. In front of friends and family, he got his first major-league win, against the California Angels on August 25 at Dodger Stadium, in the Angels' last season there.
In 1967, he pitched shutouts in his first two starts in April. By midseason his 9–7 record with a 2.68 ERA and 10 complete games in 17 starts earned him a berth on his first and only Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He pulled a hamstring in his last start before the All-Star Game and did not pitch in the game. That year he led the American League in shutouts with six. The book "Portrait of a Franchise: An Intimate Look at Cleveland Indians Baseball During the Rockin' Sixties" includes a detailed section on Hargan.
Injuries hampered him throughout his career, including arm problems, an ankle fracture and later carpal tunnel syndrome. He pitched for the Indians from 1965 through 1972, the Texas Rangers from 1974–77, and the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves in 1977.