Bob Chance

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Robert Chance

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Bob Chance played six seasons in the majors.

A native of Georgia, Chance signed with the San Francisco Giants and began his career with the El Paso Sun Kings of the Sophomore League in 1961, hitting .371 with 16 home runs. Following the season, he was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the first-year player draft and played in the Puerto Rico Baseball League. Playing for the Charleston Indians in 1963, he hit .343 with 26 homers and 114 RBI to capture the Eastern League Triple Crown; it had been 38 years since Joe Munson had won the first Triple Crown in the EL, but it would only be two years until George Scott became the third. Bob earned a September call up to Cleveland, hitting .288 and posting a .481 slugging percentage in 16 games, seeing most of his playing time in right field. He again played in Puerto Rico that winter, driving in 53 runs for the Ponce Lions to pace the circuit. Chance saw considerable playing time at first for the Indians in 1964, platooning with Fred Whitfield. In 120 games, he hit .279 with 14 home runs and 75 RBI, and was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

Following the season, he was dealt, along with Woodie Held, to the Washington Senators for Chuck Hinton. He was stuck behind Dick Nen and Joe Cunningham in 1965 and hit .256 in 72 games. He split the next two summers between the Senators and the Hawaii Islanders, seeing less action at the big league level in each season. After spending the entirety of 1968 with the Buffalo Bisons, he was taken by the California Angels in the 1968 Rule V Draft. In 1969, he appeared in 5 early season games for the Angels, going 1-for-7, before being traded to the Atlanta Braves for Dave Adlesh. Following the deal, he played for the Richmond Braves and then went to Japan with the Sankei Atoms, for whom he hit .320 with 16 homers in 55 games. He remained in Japan in 1970 with the Atoms.

After his baseball career, Chance returned to Charleston, West Virginia, where he had played minor league ball. He worked many years for the city's Parks and Recreation department and spent time employed by the state liquor commission. Bob died in 2013 at the age of 73. His son, Tony, was a longtime minor leaguer.

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