Hans-Norbert Jäger

From BR Bullpen

Hans-Norbert Jäger

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

Hans-Norbert Jäger was a top German infielder of the 1950s and 1960s. He is the father of German national team members Stephan Jäger, Frank Jäger and Hans-Peter Jäger.

Along with Claus Helmig, Roland Hoffmann and Jürgen Helmig, Hans-Norbert was one of the first wave of German stars after World War II. He debuted for the German national team in the 1956 European Championship, going 1 for 11 with two walks. He went 0 for 5 in the 1957 European Championship, when Germany won its only Silver Medal at a European Championship (as of 2010). He was 2 for 13 with a double and a walk in the 1958 European Championship, which Germany hosted and won the Bronze in. In the 1960 European Championship, the shortstop was 2 for 10. He had four hits in 16 at-bats and four steals in the 1962 European Championship.

After several years away, Jäger returned in the 1969 European Championship, going 0 for 2 with an error. In the 1971 European Championship, he was 1 for 8 for the Bronze Medalists and also took a hand at pitching (3 R in 5 1/3 IP, W). Overall, he had batted only .154/.211/.169 and fielded .864 in seven Euros. In the 1972 Amateur World Series, the right-hander went 0-2 with a 17.18 ERA, allowing 42 hits and 7 walks in 14 2/3 innings and hit .146/.167/.171 with nine errors in fourteen games. He also played in the 1973 Amateur World Series but statistics are not available.

After starring for Mannheim in Germany, he served as Vice President of the Mannheim Tornadoes from 1975-1985 and President from 1985-1990. In 1982, he helped re-start the Baseball-Bundesliga, which had dissolved in 1970. Jäger was a strong proponent of developing the game in Germany, which set him at odds with longtime national team teammate Claus Helmig of the Mannheim Amigos, who focused on using foreign personnel on his team. The feud developed into an on-field brawl in 1989 which led to Helmig and his team being banned from Germany.

In 2006, he was inducted into the German Baseball Hall of Fame.

At the end of 2010, Jäger was among the national team's all-time leaders in games played (45, tied for 8th with his son Frank and two ahead of his son Stephan), European Championships (7, tied for 9th), assists (78, tied for 8th with his son Stephan and Claus Helmig) and errors (20, 5th). Assist and error totals are incomplete due to the absence of stats from the 1973 Amateur World Series.