Hartung is a baseball metaphor for a player with apparently unlimited talent who
is never able to harness it. The 6'5", 210-lb Hondo, Texas, native joined the Giants
with a fabulous record as a pitcher and hitter while on WWII service teams against
ML-caliber competition. Contemporary cynics said he should "not bother playing, just
get ready for the Hall of Fame," and he struggled for six unproductive seasons. He
lacked the control to be an effective pitcher, and he struck out too much to play
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»December 11, 1945: The Giants obtain a genuine "phenom," pitcher/outfielder Clint Hartung, from Minneapolis for $20,000 and three players. Much ballyhooed, Hartung hit .358 in 66 games in 1942 for Eau Claire (Northern) while winning three games. He was in the military for the next three years, and will be for the 1946 season. The New York World Telegram's Tom Meany writes, "Hartung's a sucker if he reports to the Giants. All he has to do is sit at home, wait till he's eligible, and he's a cinch to make the Hall of Fame."
»May 9, 1947: Heralded Giant rookie Clint Hartung makes his first pitching appearance and throws six shutout innings of relief against the Braves. He will start 20 games and compile his best season at 9-7. He will also play seven games in the OF and bat .309 for the year. But the Braves win today, 6–2, behind Warren Spahn.
»May 18, 1950:
At the Polo Grounds, Rube Walker poles a grand slam in the 6th inning for the Cubs. In the bottom of the inning, Monte Irvin hits a grand slam for the Giants, the first time in history that each team has slammed in the same inning. The game is called on account of rain after six innings, and the Giants win, 10–4, behind Clint Hartung. Johnny Schmitz, the first of four pitchers, is the loser.