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Robert Chance

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 219 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

First baseman Bob Chance played six seasons in the majors.

A native of Georgia, Chance signed with the San Francisco Giants and began his pro career with the El Paso Sun Kings of the Sophomore League in 1961, hitting .371 with 16 home runs. Following the season, he was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the Rule V Draft. He then went on to play in the Puerto Rico Baseball League during the offseason. Playing for the Charleston Indians in 1963, he hit .343 with 26 homers and 114 RBIs to capture the Eastern League Triple Crown; it had been 38 years since Joe Munson had won the first Triple Crown in the EL, but it would only be 2 years until George Scott became the third. He then earned a September call-up to Cleveland, hitting .288 and posting a .481 slugging percentage in 16 games and seeing most of his playing time in right field. He again played in Puerto Rico that winter, driving in 53 runs for the Ponce Lions to pace the circuit.

Chance saw considerable playing time at first for the Indians in 1964, platooning with Fred Whitfield. In 120 games for the club, he hit .279 with 14 home runs, and he was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team. Following the season, he was dealt along with Woodie Held to the Washington Senators for Chuck Hinton. However, he was stuck behind Dick Nen and Joe Cunningham for Washington in 1965 and hit .256 in 72 games. He split the next two summers between the Senators and the Hawaii Islanders, seeing less action at the big league level in each season. After spending the entire 1968 campaign with the Buffalo Bisons, he was then taken by the California Angels in the Rule V Draft. In 1969, he appeared in 5 early-season games for the Angels, going 1-for-7, before being traded to the Atlanta Braves for Dave Adlesh. Following the deal, he played for the Richmond Braves and then went to Japan with the Sankei Atoms, for whom he hit .320 with 16 homers in 55 games. He remained in Japan in 1970 with the Atoms.

After his baseball career, Chance returned to Charleston, West Virginia, where he had played minor league ball. He worked many years for the city's Parks and Recreation department and then spent time employed by the state liquor commission. His son, Tony Chance, was a longtime minor leaguer.

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