Buddy Hicks

From BR Bullpen

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Clarence Walter Hicks

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Buddy Hicks was a switch-hitting infielder who was signed as an amateur free agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers before the 1944 season. The seventeen-year-old was farmed out his opening year in pro ball, playing a split season with the Newport News Dodgers of the Piedmont League and the Trenton Packers of the Interstate League, both class B Leagues, and appeared in a combined 75 games, hitting at a .261 average. Buddy then spent the next two years (1945-1946) in the United States Military at the end of World War II.

Hicks became a career minor leaguer, except for a brief 90-day stay with the Detroit Tigers in 1956, in which he hit .213 while appearing in 26 games. He was called up to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1951, spent two weeks on the roster, but never appeared in a game.[1] Hicks had been obtained by the Tigers on December 2, 1952 in the minor league phase of the 1952 Rule V Draft. During his 17-year career in the minors, Buddy had only one .300+ season with the bat, hitting .334 for the Spokane Indians of the Western International League in 1947.

Hicks had a few things to say about his career: "I was the All-Star shortstop in the American Association in 1949 and the International League in 1953. I was with the Hollywood Stars in the Pacific Coast League in 1950 and was one of the guinea pigs when the team introduced wearing short pants. In my major league debut in Detroit I pinch-hit and popped out. My biggest thrill came in a game in Baltimore when I broke up Billy Loes' no-hitter with a single in the seventh inning."

During Hicks' seventeen-year run in the minors (1944-1962) he played every position in the infield for twelve different teams in eight different leagues and in his last years of active play he pitched in three seasons (1960-1962), winding up with an 0-2 record in 11 appearances but did have a 1.82 ERA. His stat sheet that covers parts of three decades shows the he hit at a .273 average with 63 home runs and fielded at a .958 clip while appearing in 1,854 games.

As a lot of journeyman players do, Buddy turned to managing after his playing career and managed the 1960-1963 Yakima Bears, 1965 Austin Braves, 1966 West Palm Beach Braves, 1967 Lexington Braves, 1968 Savannah Senators, 1968 Washington team in the Florida Instructional League and 1969 Burlington Senators (for part of the season).

A native of southern California, where he returned after his playing days, Buddy worked in customer service and later as a warehouse manager in the auto parts business in Bell, CA, before retiring to Saint George, Utah, in 1990.

Hicks passed away in Saint George, Utah, on December 8, 2014. [2]


Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1960 Yakima Bears Northwest League 85-57 1st Milwaukee Braves none League Champs
1961 Yakima Bears Northwest League 79-60 2nd Milwaukee Braves Lost League Finals
1962 Yakima Bears Northwest League 69-71 4th Milwaukee Braves
1963 Yakima Bears Northwest League 84-56 1st Milwaukee Braves League Champs
1964 Austin Senators Texas League 63-77 5th Milwaukee Braves
1965 Austin Braves Texas League 70-70 4th Milwaukee Braves
1966 West Palm Beach Braves Florida State League 45-89 9th Atlanta Braves
1967 Lexington Braves Western Carolinas League 55-63 5th Atlanta Braves none
1968 Savannah Senators Southern League 57-79 5th Washington Senators none
1969 Burlington Senators Carolina League 16-24 -- Washington Senators -- replaced by Bill Haywood May 23

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