Clint Hartung, ex-Giant dies, 87
By Greg Rajan
Corpus Christi Caller Times
Posted July 12, 2010 at 11:43 p.m.
CORPUS CHRISTI — Clint Hartung was on hand for one of baseball’s iconic
However, the former major leaguer was remembered as someone who chose to
shun the limelight in his later years.
Hartung, a former pitcher and outfielder for the New York Giants who
made his home in Sinton, died on Thursday. He was 87.
Hartung was the 11th player in major-league history whose first home run
came as a pitcher and later homered as a position player. He was the
last to achieve the feat until St. Louis’ Rick Ankiel in 2007.
Hartung’s brush with baseball history came in the third game of the 1951
National League playoff between the Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. He had
entered the game as the pinch runner at third base and scored when Bobby
Thomson hit his famous “Shot Heard ’Round the World” to win the pennant.
After his pro baseball career ended in 1955, Hartung moved to Sinton to
work for the Marathon Oil Company, for whom he was a foreman. He also
played for the Sinton Oilers, the company-sponsored baseball team.
He lived in Sinton until his death.
“His presence was there and everybody knew he was there,” said longtime
Sinton High School baseball coach Gene Kasprzyk. “In my opinion, he
didn’t feel real comfortable being in the public eye.
“He lived right across the street from the high school and would ride
his bicycle every afternoon. Every once in a while, I would stop
practice and every year I’d say to the kids, ‘Let me tell you who this
Hartung, a Hondo native, was signed to play minor-league ball out of
high school, beginning his pro career in Eau Claire, Wis., before he was
drafted into military service and spent the next four years in the Army.
Hartung was purchased by the New York Giants in 1946 for four players
and $25,000. It was with the Giants that he spent his major-league years
He spent four seasons as a pitcher, going 29-29 with a 5.02 earned-run
average, before being moved to the outfield in 1951.
After his time with the Giants, Hartung played for a variety of
minor-league teams before finishing his baseball career in 1955.
Hartung was preceded in death by his wife Carolyn. Hartung’s funeral was
held Saturday, and at his request, the service was private.
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