Gail Harris Stats

Gail Harris was born on Thursday, October 15, 1931, in Abingdon, Virginia. Harris was 23 years old when he broke into the big leagues on June 3, 1955, with the New York Giants. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Gail Harris baseball stats page.

"Let me tell you a story about Gail Harris. Remember Bud Daley , left-handed pitcher with a crippled right arm? I think he was born that way. I played with Gail when we were both at Minneapolis and Bud Daley , a pitcher with Indianapolis, struck him out. Harris came back to the bench and he couldn't stand it, he got so mad. He got up in front of the dugout and he was yelling at Daley , 'You crooked-arm S.O.B.! You'll never strike me out again!' [laughs] I'll never forget that." - Wayne Terwilliger in The Pastime in Turbulence: Interviews With Baseball Players of the 1940s (Brent P. Kelley, Mcfarland & Company Publishers, 05/2001, Page 314)
Gail Harris

Gail Harris Autograph on a 1979 TCMA (#275)
Gail Harris Autograph on a 1979 TCMA (#275)

Career
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World Series
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Birth Name:
Boyd Gail Harris, Jr.
Nickname:
None
Born On:
10-15-1931  (Libra)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Abingdon, Virginia
Year of Death Data Died On:
11-14-2012 ( 500 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
Gainesville, Virginia
Cemetery:
Cremated (Ashes Scattered at Costello Park)
High School:
Abingdon High School (Abingdon, VA)
College:
None Attended
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Left
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Left
Player Height Chart Height:
6-00
Player Weight Chart Weight:
195
First Game:
06-03-1955 (Age 23)
Last Game:
05-03-1960
Draft:
Not Applicable
Gail Harris

Gail Harris Pitching Stats

G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
- - Did Not Pitch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
Gail Harris

Gail Harris Hitting Stats

G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
1955 24 Giants 79 263 27 61 9 0 12 0 36 20 3 46 0 2 2 6 .232 .289 .403
1956 25 Giants 12 38 2 5 0 1 1 0 1 3 1 10 0 0 2 0 .132 .233 .263
1957 26 Giants 90 225 28 54 7 3 9 0 31 16 2 28 0 2 6 4 .240 .305 .418
1958 27 Tigers 134 451 63 123 18 8 20 0 83 36 3 60 1 6 4 10 .273 .328 .481
1959 28 Tigers 114 349 39 77 4 3 9 0 39 29 3 49 1 2 6 7 .221 .290 .327
1960 29 Tigers 8 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .286 .000
G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
6 Years 437 1,331 159 320 38 15 51 0 190 106 13 194 2 12 20 27 .240 .304 .406
Gail Harris

Gail Harris Fielding Stats

POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
1955 Giants 1B 75 67 1,845 679 9.1 667 617 50 12 65 n/a n/a n/a .982 9.76
1956 Giants 1B 11 11 297 120 10.9 117 108 9 3 12 n/a n/a n/a .975 10.64
1957 Giants 1B 61 51 1,452 547 9.0 539 502 37 8 53 n/a n/a n/a .985 10.02
1958 Tigers 1B 122 112 2,430 1,036 8.5 1,021 942 79 15 90 n/a n/a n/a .986 11.34
1959 Tigers 1B 93 83 2,256 791 8.5 785 728 57 6 59 n/a n/a n/a .992 9.39
1960 Tigers 1B 5 0 30 9 1.8 9 8 1 0 1 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 8.10
POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
1B Totals 367 324 8,310 3,182 8.7 3,138 2,905 233 44 280 n/a n/a n/a .986 10.20
6 Years 367 324 8,310 3,182 8.7 3,138 2,905 233 44 280 n/a n/a n/a .986 10.20
Gail Harris

Gail Harris Miscellaneous Stats

SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
1955 Giants 0 0 .000 7 1 n/a 21.9 5.7 7.3 - - -
1956 Giants 0 0 .000 1 0 n/a 38.0 3.8 38.0 - - -
1957 Giants 1 0 1.000 31 1 n/a 25.0 8.0 7.3 - - -
1958 Tigers 1 2 .333 14 0 n/a 22.6 7.5 5.4 - - -
1959 Tigers 0 1 .000 23 0 n/a 38.8 7.1 8.9 - - -
1960 Tigers 0 0 .000 3 0 n/a 0.0 5.0 0.0 - - -
SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
6 Years 2 3 .400 79 2 n/a 26.1 6.9 7.0 - - -
Gail Harris

Gail Harris Miscellaneous Items of Interest

1955 New York Giants 15 Undetermined - -
1956 New York Giants 15 Undetermined - -
1957 New York Giants 14 Undetermined - -
1958 Detroit Tigers 5 Undetermined - -
1959 Detroit Tigers 5 Undetermined - -
1960 Detroit Tigers 5 Undetermined - -


Did you know that the "greatest thrill (Gail Harris) had was watching Mays play"? Baseball Almanac likes to take a look "beyond the stats" and we hope you enjoy the following research provided to Baseball Almanac from Tim Hayes, Bristol Herald Courier Sports Writer:

LOCAL LEGENDS IN THE PROS:
Harris' Big League Career Was A Hit

During his time with the Detroit Tigers in the late-1950s, Gail Harris was standing at first base in a game against the rival New York Yankees. Manning his position in the infield of hallowed Yankee Stadium, the Abingdon native was overcome with the magnitude of the moment.

"Standing there at first base, I said to myself, 'Lord, oh mercy, Lou Gehrig stood in this same spot. And I'm just an old boy from Abingdon standing here,' " Harris said.

Harris had many moments similar to that one during a major league career that occurred during the true golden era of professional baseball.

In six seasons with the New York Giants and Detroit Tigers, Harris compiled a .240 batting average with 51 home runs in a career that spanned 437 games. Among his famous teammates were Hall of Famers Al Kaline and Willie Mays . He played in the famed Polo Grounds. As a rookie he received orders from legendary manager Leo Durocher .

"I wouldn't trade anything for the experience," Harris said. "It was a great run."

Making It to the Majors

Harris was an athletic standout at now-defunct William King High School in Abingdon. His exploits are legendary and he was good enough to get scouted by big league teams.

"I favored the Giants so I signed with them," Harris said. "I had four teams that scouted me and there was one scout from Greeneville, Tenn., named Dale Alexander that watched me a lot. I went to a tryout camp and there were 400 men in the tryout camp and six of us made it. I then went to a Class D club and had to beat out 10 guys just to make it there."

Life in the minor leagues was far from glamorous. Air conditioners were few and far between in hotels and on road trips. Harris made about $150 per month and meal money was a dollar per day.

In the offseason, he went to work.

"If it wasn't for [a job with] Burlington Mills in Bristol in the winter, I would have starved to death," Harris said.

But in every stop in the bush leagues, Harris blasted opposing pitchers. After continuing his hitting heroics at Class AAA Minneapolis, Harris got called up to the majors in the summer of 1955.

"My first game I faced a guy named Bob Rush that threw about 100 miles per hour," Harris said, "It was a thrill being there."

Harris hit .232 in 79 games as a rookie, connecting for 12 home runs and driving in 36 runs. His manager was the ferocious Durocher .

"He would sell his mother into slavery to win a game," Harris said. "He was a fiery manager. He was a good manager."

Harris also made his living in the mecca of pro baseball. The Bronx had the Yankees. Brooklyn had the Dodgers. The rest of New York had the Giants. Harris was involved in the heated rivalries between the clubs.

Harris also got a daily look at one of the game's greatest players — a href="/players/player.php?p=mayswi01" title="Willie Mays">Mays.

"The greatest thrill I had was watching a href="/players/player.php?p=mayswi01" title="Willie Mays">Mays play," Harris said. "He was the greatest ballplayer that ever lived in my opinion. He was also one of the finest men I met while playing. All he wanted to be was a href="/players/player.php?p=mayswi01" title="Willie Mays">Willie Mays, the ballplayer. The players loved him."

Harris struggled in 1956, but rebounded with a solid season in 1957. It was during the waning days of the '57 season that Harris had his best day as a pro and became a footnote in history.

Farewell, New York

Harris can vividly recall the events that unfolded on the afternoon of September 21, 1957.

He had been playing sparingly for the Giants in the final weeks of the season and didn't expect to play in that evening's doubleheader at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field.

So, in the afternoon he headed out to watch Pittsburgh's college football clash with Oklahoma. He ate a few hot dogs and enjoyed watching the gridiron fight.

When he arrived at the ballpark, he sat out the first game as he expected. However, in the clubhouse before the second game, New York manager Bill Rigney told Harris he would be starting in the second game.

All Harris did was go 4-for-5 with three runs scored, two home runs and seven RBIs. He blasted a three-run homer in the second inning off Pittsburgh starter Red Witt and added a solo shot in the fourth off Eddie O'Brien .

"They happened to throw it where I was swinging," Harris said jokingly.

The homer off O'Brien would have historical implications. The smash was the last home run by a New York Giant player.

The team relocated to San Francisco the following year. Meanwhile, Harris also had a new destination as he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in the offseason.

The Motown Man

Harris enjoyed some success in the Motor City. Getting the chance to play on a regular basis, Harris flourished in the summer of 1958 for the Tigers. He smashed 20 home runs, collected 83 RBIs and finished with a .273 batting average.

Like he had the year before with the Giants, Harris put on a power display. In a game against Baltimore on September 13, 1958, Harris blasted two home runs and finished with four RBIs.

Two months before that, Harris started at first base when Detroit's Jim Bunning tossed a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Harris' batting average dipped in 1959, as he hit .221 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs.

"In 1958 and 1959 on 2-0 and 3-1 [counts] they would give me a good fastball," Harris said. "In 1959 on 2-0 and 3-1, they would throw me that funny looking thing. I would kill every worm in the infield. You have to be a good hitter to stick around."

Harris played his last game in the majors on May 3, 1960.

"When you're a mediocre player, you don't unpack your suitcase," Harris said. "Back then, it was a little tougher to stay in the majors. We only had eight clubs and a lot of teams had established stars at every position."

Then & Now

Harris currently lives in Manassas, Va., and still follows baseball religiously. He spends most of the summer laid back in his favorite chair, watching MLB games on his large-screen television. UPDATE: This article originally appeared in print on June 28, 2008. Gail has passed away since the original publish date.

His son, Mark, played in the minors briefly and is currently a minor league instructor for the Kansas City Royals organization.

Harris still enjoys looking back on his playing days.

"It was some exciting stuff," Harris said.

Reprinted With Express Written Permission from Tim Hayes.

You can follow the team links in the chart above to locate common statistics (singles), advanced statistics (WHIP Ratio & Isolated Power), and unique statistics (plate appearances & times on bases) not found on any other website.

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Last-Modified: October 16, 2019 2:14 PM EST

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