Vic Harris (harrivi01)

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Victor Lanier Harris

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Biographical Information[edit]

Vic Harris was considered a budding superstar when he reached the major leagues with the Texas Rangers in the middle of the 1972 season, because he had great speed, was considered an excellent defender and someone who would hit for a high average. The athleticism was always there, but he could never hit enough to justify keeping a regular job. In first season, he started by going a record 0-for-35, the worst start to a career by a non-pitcher. For the season he hit just .140 and slugged an even more anemic .177 in 61 games, but he was still given a chance to start full time in center field in 1973. That went slightly better, but in 152 games, he batted .249 with 8 homers and 44 RBIs, so the results weren't great. He did display his speed, with 71 runs, 7 triples and 13 steals.

He had originally been drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the secondary phase of the January 1970 amateur draft, then was traded to the Rangers with Steve Lawson and Marty Martinez for ted Kubiak and Don Mincher on July 20, 1972, a day before making his major league debut. Following his sole season as a regular, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs alongside Bill Madlock in return for Fergie Jenkins. However, contrary to Madlock, he could never find his hitting stroke in Wrigley Field, batting just .195 and .175 in 1974 and 1975. His main position during those two seasons was second base, but he was never going to displace Manny Trillo, who was a great fielder and a much better hitter. Before the 1976 season, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in return for utility infielder Mick Kelleher and played 97 games that season, but hit just .228 with a single homer and only one stolen base.

He was traded for the fourth time on October 20, 1976, this time to the San Francisco Giants along with Willie Crawford and John Curtis for Mike Caldwell, John D'Acquisto and Dave Rader. He had his best season as a utility player for the Giants in 1977, hitting .261 in 69 games and scoring 28 runs. He saw time at second base, third base, shortstop, center field and right field that year. However, the bottom fell out in 1978 as he hit just .150 in 53 games. No one considered him a future star anymore at that point and while he managed to sign on as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers before the 1979 season, he spent the entire year in the minors. He came back briefly in 1980, when he hit .213 in 34 games at the end of the season. Overall, in 579 games over 8 seasons, he batted .217 with 13 homers and 121 RBIs.

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