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Bob Hartman

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Robert Louis Hartman

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Lefty pitcher Bob Hartman was signed out of high school in Kenosha, WI, by the Milwaukee Braves as an amateur free agent on July 13, 1955. The seventeen-year-old was assigned to the Beaumont Exporters of the tough AA Texas League and came out of his first year under fire with a 3-5 record while appearing in 16 games. It didn't get any easier as the youngster was sent to the AAA Wichita Braves in 1956 and appeared in only 12 games, coming out with a 1-2 record. In 1957 Hartman found himself in the Southern Association, possibly the toughest AA league going, with the Atlanta Crackers who in 1957 won both the league and playoff titles and Robert contributed four wins to his team's success.

Hartman was back with the Crackers in 1958 and won 20 and lost but 10 with a 2.94 ERA. The 20 victories tied him with Bill Harrington and Jim O'Toole for the league's winningest pitchers. Bob's 233 innings pitched and his ERA total were a career best for him. This kind of performance opened the doors of Milwaukee's County Stadium in 1959 for Bob and he got into three games with no decisions, was hit hard and wound up with the AA Louisville Colonels where he went 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA for the remainder of the 1959 season.

Hartman would be with Louisville in 1960 and 1961 going 13-12 for the Colonels and spent the late part of the 1961 season with the Vancouver Mounties of the Pacific Coast League going 3-1. Not seeing much playing time anywhere, Bob wound up being traded to the Cleveland Indians for Ken Aspromonte and cash. Bob made eight appearances for the Indians in 1962 and lost his only decision; this would mark the end of his major league time with an 0-1 record and a 3.12 ERA in 11 games. The lefthander finished up 1962 with Louisville, going 6-5 with a 3.48 ERA. He showed up with the Jacksonville Suns of the International League in 1963, making 5 appearances with no decisions and decided it was time to go home. He finished up his nine year minor league career with 58 wins and 51 losses with a 3.73 ERA, appearing in 223 games.

Hartman went back to his native Kenosha, WI where he became a long-time sports director for a Christian Youth Center. He died there in 2010.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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