Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hadley Homers off the Bench

Chicago--July 16, 1960 "The ball is a blur as substitute first baseman, Kent Hadley, hits second of three home runs against the Tigers" Kent Hadley came off the bench, replacing the injured Moose Skowron, and hit home runs his first two times up. The Yankee bench immediately started referring to Skowron as Wally Pipp, the Yankee first baseman who in 1925 let a fellow named Gehrig take over for him at 1st base. You never saw a wrist heal so quick!"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hadley in the 1960 Yankee Press Guide

1960 write up in the Yankee Yearbook
In 1960 the injury prone-Moose Skowron limped into spring training. Manager Casey Stengle had bad news for the Yankee All-Star, if he couldn't play, Kent Hadley could. Hadley had a great year with the A's and was a proven hitter. That didn't sit well with Moose, or his best buddies Mickey and Whitey. Kent Hadley came over in the trade with Maris in December and Mickey was clearly threatened by Maris. Worse yet the former A's were not warmly recieved well by Stengel or the front office who tried to short change the A's. Hadley signed for just $10-thousand, Maris just a few dollars more. Maris and Hadley were both soft-spoken, both knew if they got the chance they could compete with the starters.

The Newest Yankees 1960

Kent Hadley, Joe DeMaestri, Roger Maris, Elmer Valo and Fred Kipp
posing for photographers, April 16th, 1960, Yankee Stadium.

Ole’s Outlook May 3, 1956

By Lyle Olson

Journal Sports Editor

These are the days of the tape-measure home runs.

Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees is the lad who plays 500 feet or not count, but they hauled out the measuring tape at the University of Southern California the other day and found that first baseman Kent Hadley of Pocatello had belted one 470 feet.

They don’t ordinarily go for that sort of thing at USC, but there were unusual circumstances surrounding this clout. Hadley’s blow, you see, had traveled virtually out of sight over the right field fence and came to earth upon an adjacent field where football players were engaged in spring practice.

Hadley’s mighty swat, his third home run of the game, struck one bewildered gridder squarely between the seasons.

Two men were on base at the time with the score tied 6-6 in the ninth inning. Fresno State was the losing aggregation.

Hadley, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Hadley of Pocatello, has been victimizing other hurlers in the conference in much the same fashion. The bullseye shot that hit the football player was his 18th of the season in the southern division of the Pacific Coast Conference.

The former record for homers in one season was 15, set in 1951 by Rudy Regalado, now of the Cleveland Indians. USC was to play three games over this weekend with five more contests left during the regular season.

With the coming of June, Kent will take leave of USC in anthropology and a yen for the big leagues.

The scouts have been aware of his potential with the bat since his playing days at Pocatello High School. But, the bidding is getting to a fever pitch as the six-three, 200-pound youngster nears availability.

The scouts are expressly forbidden to snoop around college campuses, but the elder Hadleys have played host to representatives of a host of major league teams in the past.

“The final decision will be up to Kent, of course,” says his dad, who draws a modest stipend as Chief of Detectives on the police force. “But, he’s always talked things over with his mother and I and we hope that we can help him to choose.”

Latest scout to talk with the elder Hadleys was Bobby Mattick of Cincinnati, who once guided the fortunes of the Ogden Reds in the Pioneer League. He didn’t even blink at the mention of a $40,000 bonus.

And that might not be enough to get Hadley when the actual bidding starts.

But, Mattick stressed one important point. Kent may well be the regular first baseman for the Redlegs and in a hurry. Ted Kluszewski’s ailing back doesn’t figure to get much better, the Redlegs feel, and they are caught with a deficiency of outstanding first basemen in their farm system.

All players who sign for a bonus of more than $4,000 are required to stay on the parent club’s roster for at least two seasons. But, that’s no assurance they’ll play, as witness the current inactivity of Harmon Killibrew. The Payette, Idaho flash was hired by the Washington Senators two seasons ago for a bonus believed to be $65,000 and hasn’t earned his meal money as yet.

On orders from Gabe Paul, the Redlegs have offered to foot the bill for the entire Hadley family for two weeks in Cincinnati to get a good look at the younger member.

That’s a nice gesture. But, there’s still 15 other teams to be heard from, and the line will start forming in about a month.

Hadley and USC Baseball coach Rod Dedeaux

Rod Dedeaux, 1955 Okinawa Japan

Kent Hadley's early years of baseball were influanced by legendary coach Rod Dedeaux. Yankee scouts directed Hadley to the USC skipper. Under his wise counsel, Hadley played a year at Pasadena to get academic and baseball seasoning and then, like so many other players Dedeaux nurtured the tall quiet kid from Pocatello turning him into one of the most sought after in-fielders of the 50's.
Kent Hadley treasured this letter from Rod, and Rod could barely hide the excitement of having a .355 lefty at first! Hadley confessed to his parents that the going was rough at Pasadena, but once he was under Rod's wing at USC it was smooth sailing and the Pocatello kid that complained that he couldn't fit in with college kids, excelled as a USC athlete and frat boy.

Hadley put in his time at USC and studied under one of the greatest baseball minds in the game. He refined his game with a healthy dose of fundamentals from Dedeaux and it paid off. In 1956 the Trojans went 24-9 and Hadley hit 17 homers, 47 RBI's for a batting average of .387 and slugging percentage of .901, SC and conference records. It was no surprise that Dedeaux recommended Hadley for All-American honors.

The Tiger scouts were in a dogfight with the Yankee scouts over the All-American. Hadley had visited Tiger Stadium, yet he had visited two Yankee camps, one in Boise right out of High School. At first he signed with the Tigers but they traded him away and Yankees won by default.

In 1961, when Hadley had his fill of the Yankees and frequent trips to the minors; he turned to Dedeaux who told him he could play excellent baseball and still make more money and Japan. For Hadley who was trying support a young family this was sage advise. He signed with then Nankai Hawks, an organization that Dedeaux visited every summer.

Dedeaux compiled what is arguably the greatest record of any coach in the sport's amateur history winning more than 1000 games at USC.

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dedeaux attended the University of Southern California, and after playing two games as a shortstop for the 1935 Brooklyn Dodgers ; he suffered a career ending back injury. He turned to coaching in the semi-pro and amateur ranks at USC; He was the Trojoan head coach for 44-years.

"The things I remember best about playing at USC are that we worked hard, learned a lot and had a really great time doing it,” said Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. “I learned more in one year at USC under coach Dedeaux than I would have in two or three seasons in the low minors. I learned concentration and to stay in the game mentally."

Hadley Heads to California

Pasadena City College 1953
Hadley, on the advise of Yankee scouts packed up after a summer of minor league ball and headed to Pasadena City College. After a year of tearing up JC pitching he got a Yankee scholarship at USC. He lead the Pacific Coast Conference in homeruns in 1956 and was named first team All-American.

USC Trojan Baseball All Americans

At Dedeaux field on the USC campus in Los Angeles Kent Hadley played first base for three seasons 53-56, there stands a wall with the names of USC All Americans and Trojans that played in the Major Leagues.Hadley's name stands on the same wall with major league greats Mark McGwire and Brett Boone.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kent Hadley, 1995

Kent Hadley, 1995, A hike with his biggest fans... his grandsons, Connor Hadley, Nick Ingram, Sander Hadley and Alec Ingram.

Three generations of baseball players. Standing with Kent in front of his home in Idaho, grandfather Otto Henry Barthold and father, Glenn Hadley. Otto Barthold came very close to being a big leage pitcher.

Young Kent towers over his beautiful mother, Dorothy Barthold Hadley.

Bat Boy Hadley with Bobby Thompson Cardinal Star

Kent Hadley, left, was selected by Cardinals to be their batboy for the '47 season after winning an essay contest.

Pocatello Cardinals, one of the original members of the Pioneer League, were a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate for ten years.

Due to World War II, the Pioneer League ceased operations from 1943 to 1945. Resuming play in 1946, the Cardinals finished fourth with a 64-63 record for manager Bill Brenzel. The next year, 1947, Jim Tyack took over the club. Kent Hadley served as a bat boy that year, but the club finished last, posting a 45-94 mark. Despite their poor record, Tony O'Laughlin led the league with a .360 batting average, and shortstop Bobby Thomson was an All-Star.

In 1948, the Cardinals improved greatly, finishing first with a 77-49 record for new skipper Roland LeBlanc. Outfielder Albert Neal won the Triple Crown with a .390 average, 25 homers, and 151 RBIs, and first baseman Ed Mickelson joined him on the All-Star team. However, the Twin Falls Cowboys beat the Cardinals to nab the league title.

In 1949, Walter Lowe took over as manager and the club went 75-51 to finish third. Charles Williams led the league with 120 RBIs, and second baseman Dom Barczewski and shortstop Ted Lewandowski were All-Stars.

1959 Kansas City Athletics went 66-88

The 1959 Kansas City Athletics played 154 games during the regular season, won 66 games, lost 88 games, and finished in seventh position. They played their home games at Municipal Stadium where 963,683 fans witnessed their 1959 Athletics finish the season with a .429 winning percentage.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hadley Hits Winning Home Run in Japan Series

Hadley Swings Big Bat in Japan Majors
In 1964 Hadley hit .263/.328/.470 with 29 home runs and a league-high 99 strikeouts. He hit a dramatic game-ending game-winning home run in game 4 of the Japan Series that year, taking Minoru Murayama deep. The blow and his colleague Joe Stanka's stellar pitching helped the Hawks to a 4-3 Series win over the Hanshin Tigers - it would be the last Japan Series title for Nankai.

As Nankai's 1B in 1965 Kent batted .239/.274/.492, again cracking 29 home runs and driving in 86 runners. His power began to fade the next season but he picked up his average as his line read .279/.340/.443 with 18 HR. In his final season for the Hawks, Hadley hit just .213/.266/.341 with 14 homers. Inn the opening game, he hit one homer that made him the first foreigner to hit 100 career home runs in Nippon Pro Baseball. At his final game, he was celebrated by his teammate with doage (tossing a person in the air for a few times), which was rather unusual for non-Japanese players.

1959 Kansas City Athletics

Photo caption: OFF-FIELD MANAGER of Kent Hadley, Kansas City A's infield candidate, is Lynn Hadley, one-half-year-old daughter, who gives dad pep talk before drills at Connie Mack Field here. Hadley, a native of Pocatello, Idaho, played for Little Rock last season where he belted 34 home runs and drove in 91.

Kansas City Press was Gaga over Hadley and Adorable Daughter
After a stellar intercollegiate career at USC, Kent Hadley was named an All-American his senior year. Then it was off to Little Rock and the minor leagues where he was a one man wrecking crew. The tall, quiet lefty from Pocatello terrorized southern pitching with 38 homeruns, that earned him a trip to the bigs and a starting job as firstbaseman for the A's. While in Kansas City he met another phenom...a skinny, shy kid from North Dakota a guy by the name of Roger, Roger Maris. The two hit it off and were fast friends, in December 1959 the A's two brightest prospects were traded to the Yankees.

Hadley, 13, named Cardinal Batboy for 1947 Season

Kent Hadley proudly poses in his authentic Cardinal batboy uniform. The uni was custom made and shipped from St. Louis.
Idaho State Journal June 1947
The annual Welcome Pocatello Cardinal banquet was a huge success. At the session which was held at the Hotel Bannock, the new Card batboy was present. He is Kent Hadley who was selected from a group of six finalists in the Cardinal Batboy contest held recently.
Kent will wear a regular Cardinal Uniform, fitted to his size, receive a regular bi-monthly paycheck and in general he’ll be the envy of all youngsters in Pocatello.

The Winning Cardinal Essay

Hadley's winning essay

Probably the happiest lad in Pocatello last night was Kent Hadley, of 408 North Tenth Ave.
The personable 13 year old was named this year’s Pocatello Cardinal batboy at the Annual Banquet in the Hotel Bannock. Steve Detmer 145 Washington came in second and was awarded a gold watch from Nate Morgan jewelers. –Pocatello Tribune

Photo Caption: POCATELLO PLAYER GREETED BY YANK BOSS - Kent Hadley, of Pocatello, traded to the New York Yankees during the winter by Kansas City and three other players were involved in trades were greeted by Yanks manager, Casey Stengel, left, this week. Casey had this smile and bats for the new players. New players to the left of Casey are Roger Maris, Hadley, Joe DeMaestri and Elmer Valo. Maris, Hadley and DeMaestri were obtained by the Yankees from the KC Athletics and Valo came from the Cleveland Indians.

Hadley's disappointing Yankee season

"New York was a bad break for me," Hadley told the Idaho State Journal in 1984. After spending nearly the entire season on the Yankee roster in 1960. Hadley was left off the teams World Series roster in favor of Dale Long. Long went 1-3 in the series and the Yankees lost to Pittsburg in game 7 of the series. A series that still haunts some Yankee fans.

1960 New York Yankees

1960 New York Yankees
Uniform Numbers

#1 Bobby Richardson
#6 Andy Carey
#6 Deron Johnson
#7 Mickey Mantle
#8 Yogi Berra
#9 Roger Maris
#10 Tony Kubek
#11 Hector Lopez
#12 Gil McDougald
#14 Bill Skowron
#15 Jim Pisoni
#16 Whitey Ford
#17 Bob Cerv
#17 Elmer Valo
#18 Eli Grba
#18 Fred Kipp
#19 Bob Turley
#20 Joe DeMaestri
#22 Bill Stafford
#23 Ralph Terry
#24 Duke Maas
#25 Kent Hadley
#25 Dale Long
#26 Ryne Duren
#27 Jesse Gonder
#28 Art Ditmar
#29 Hal Stowe
#30 Bobby Shantz
#32 Elston Howard
#34 Clete Boyer
#38 Johnny Blanchard
#39 Jim Coates
#40 Gabe Gabler
#44 Ken Hunt
#46 Bill Short
#47 Luis Arroyo
#47 Billy Shantz
#53 Johnny James

Hadley: A Pocatello legend

Kent Hadley stands with his Pocatello High School classmates in 1952. "My uncle Mickey Banyard is kneeling third from left with the big ears. Dave Anderson is standing on the far left," writes Lynn Hadley Ingram.


Kent Hadley was already a major league prospect while playing for Pocatello High School. The Strapping 6' footer was a tenacious first baseman, a power hitter and no match for high school pitching. The Yankees and Detroit Tigers had many scout visits his senior year before signing with Baker's minor league team.

Kent Hadley, Idaho's Yankee

Kent Hadley April, 1960 at Yankee Stadium for picture day, look who looms ominously over his shoulder.

Hadley's Colorful Career

Kent Hadley was born Dec. 17, 1934, in Pocatello. He graduated from Pocatello High School in 1952.He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1956. The Free-swinging first baseman played three years in the major leagues, alongside Roger Maris both in Kansas City and in New York.

In the minors in the Southern Association he lead the league with 34 home runs in 1958 while playing for the Little Rock Travelors. A year later he was the starting first baseman for the Kansas City A's. That December he was part of the trade that sent Roger Maris from Kansas City to the Yankees. After spending the 1960 season on the Yankee bench, Hadley played for the San Diego Padres in 1961 then went to Japan.
Hadley was the first foreigner to homer in his first at-bat in Japan. For the Nankai Hawks, Kent hit deep off of Junichi Nakajima on May 1, 1962 in Heiwada Stadium. Overall, Kent had an unimpressive season at the plate, hitting just .266/.296/.414. The Hawks brought him back in 1963 and he improved drastically, cranking out 30 long balls and batting .295/.341/.517 with 84 RBI. He made the Pacific League All-Star team and had his best season in Japan.

In 1964 Hadley hit .263/.328/.470 with 29 home runs and a league-high 99 strikeouts. He hit a dramatic game-ending game-winning home run in game 4 of the Japan Series that year, taking Minoru Murayama deep. The blow and his colleague Joe Stanka's stellar pitching helped the Hawks to a 4-3 Series win over the Hanshin Tigers - it would be the last Japan Series title for Nankai.

As Nankai's 1B in 1965 Kent batted .239/.274/.492, again cracking 29 home runs and driving in 86 runners. His power began to fade the next season but he picked up his average as his line read .279/.340/.443 with 18 HR. In his final season for the Hawks, Hadley hit just .213/.266/.341 with 14 homers. Inn the opening game, he hit one homer that made him the first foreigner to hit 100 career home runs in Nippon Pro Baseball. At his final game, he was celebrated by his teammate with doage (tossing a person in the air for a few times), which was rather unusual for non-Japanese players.

Hadley said one of the proudest parts of his career was playing for Rod Dedeaux, Casey Stengel and Kazuto Tsuruoka, a famous trio of managers in different settings. Sources include and Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database

Following his professional baseball career, Kent had a successful career in the insurance business in Pocatello for over 30 years until his passing.