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Hall of Fame Member Directory

Harry Craft

Class of 1963

His fielding was the best that pasture had seen since Edd Roush departed.

- Historian Lee Allen

One of the most gifted defensive players to ever patrol the outfield for the Cincinnati Reds, Harry Craft was a key component of the Reds' back-to-back National League championship clubs in 1939 and 1940, and the 1940 World Champions. In 1938, in Craft's first full season as the club's centerfielder, the Reds notched their first winning record since 1928. In addition to playing outstanding defense, Craft also established career highs in most offensive categories during his rookie campaign and was a central figure in teammate Johnny Vander Meer's back-to-back no hitters, catching Dodger Leo Durocher's fly ball to secure the last out of the record-setting second consecutive no-hitter.

The Reds' championship clubs of 1939 and 1940 were built around stout pitching and exceptional defense and Craft excelled in the field, setting a Major League record for fielding percentage by an outfielder (since broken) with a .997 mark in 1940. Craft's second foray into the record books took place on June 8, 1940 when he became only the third Red since 1900 to hit for the cycle, a feat that has been equaled only twice since.

In July of 1942, Craft was traded to the New York Yankees. World War II was underway and Craft served with distinction in the U.S. Navy during the conflict. When he returned from the war in 1946, his time away from the game had eroded his skills. After playing parts of the next three seasons with the Yankees' top farm club in Kansas City, Craft retired in 1948 and embarked on a lengthy and distinguished career as a Minor and Major League coach and manager which included serving as Mickey Mantle's first manager in professional baseball with the Independence club of the Kansas/Oklahoma/Missouri League in 1949.

Craft was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1963 and along with Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion, Barry Larkin, Bid McPhee and Mario Soto, is one of only six members of the Reds Hall of Fame to have played his entire Major League career with the Reds.

Harry Francis Craft
Nickname:
Wildfire
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
185
Born:
April 19, 1915, Ellisville, Mississippi
Death:
August 3, 1995, Conroe, Texas
College:
Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi
How Acquired:
Signed as an amateur free agent in 1937
Debut:
September 19, 1937 vs. Boston Bees
Final Game:
July 14, 1942 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Inducted
into the Reds Hall of Fame 1963
Reds Career Statistics
Career Statistics for Harry Craft
G AB R H TB 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
566 2104 237 533 800 85 25 44 267 110 N/A 203 14 N/A .253 .294 .380 .674
Full Career Statistics »
Player image for Harry Francis Craft

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