Despite his great name, Granny Hamner‘s contributions to the Phillies over 16 seasons have been forgotten in recent history. The middle infielder made his major league debut at just 17 years old in 1944 and played 21 games.
Hamner only played 39 games over his first four seasons in Philadelphia before becoming a full-time player in 1948. In five of his first seven full seasons, Hamner received MVP votes, finishing as high as sixth in 1950 when he struck out just 35 times in a league-high 157 games played.
When the Phillies won the National League pennant in 1950, Hamner hit .429 in the World Series, but Philadelphia was swept by the New York Yankees.
Hamner became a key player for the “Whiz Kids” and was named team captain in 1952. Only four players in team history have been named the captain: Jimmy Wilson, Fresco Thompson, Hamner and Mike Schmidt.
Hamner earned three-consecutive All-Star selections in the 1950s and had his best season in 1954 hitting .299 with 39 doubles, 11 triples and 13 home runs. Hamner became the first player in baseball history to start at two different positions as an All-Star, earning an All-Star start at short in 1952 and second in 1954.
In 1959, the Phillies traded Hamner to the Cleveland Indians for pitcher Humberto Robinson. After the 1959 season, Hamner played just three games for the then-Kansas City Athletics in 1962.
Hamner worked for the Phillies as a minor league director later in life and was inducted onto the Wall of Fame in 1987, six years before his passing.
Hamner is 11th in Phillies history for dWAR at 8.8, better than Richie Ashburn and Scott Rolen. He played the 12th most games in team history, had the 8th most at-bats and the 12th most plate appearances.
In franchise history, Hamner is in the top-15 for hits and doubles. He is in the top-25 for home runs, triples, total bases, RBI, singles and extra-base hits.