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Ken Hamlin

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Kenneth Lee Hamlin

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Ken Hamlin signed as an amateur free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 3, 1957. The 22-year-old shortstop spent his first season with the class A Lincoln Chiefs of the Western League, appearing in 84 games and hitting .254, after playing a couple of games in Pittsburgh.

Hamlin was to be a slick-fielding middle infielder with a strong throwing arm and good range hit .241 in seven seasons between 1957 and 1966. A Detroit, MI native, Ken attended Western Michigan College, where he earned second-team honors when his team was beaten in the final round of the 1957 NCAA tournament.

After Hamlin's brief debut in the majors with the Pirates in 1957, he was back in the Show in 1959, but for only 3 games this time. He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics and was their everyday shortstop in 1960. However on December 14th he was drafted by the new Washington Senators in the 1960 expansion draft then that same day was traded to the other expansion tesm, the Los Angeles Angels, in one of the trades made necessary because of mistakes in the handling of the draft. He only played 42 games for Los Angeles, and on June 21, 1961 the Angels traded Ken, along with Russ Heman, to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League for Billy Moran. After 97 games with Toronto, where he hit .267, he was drafted by the Washington Senators on November 27th in the 1961 Rule V Draft.

After playing with Washington in 1962, Ken spent 1963 and 1964 in the IL before returning to the Washington Senators in 1965 and 1966, hitting a career high .273 in 1965. Hamlin spent parts or all of 7 years in major league baseball between 1957 and 1966, ending his career after appearing in 468 major league contests, hitting at a .241 clip and fielding the shortstop position with a .963 percentage.

Lifetime in the minors, Ken appeared in 658 games, picked up 597 base hits in 2,371 at-bats, including 36 home runs, for a career .252 batting average. He carried a .967 fielding percentage at the shortstop position.

Ken has been retired since the late 1980s, after operating the Tall Timbers Youth Boys Camp for 20 years and teaching and coaching high school baseball in Battle Creek, MI.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s
Minor League Stats & History Baseball-Reference.com: page

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