The only man to ever pinch hit for Ted Williams, Hardy spent eight seasons in the major leagues from 1958-1967. He came up with the Indians in 1958 and went to Boston in 1960. He found regular playing time in the Red Sox outfield in 1962 when he got into 115 games, which was a career high. Hardy hit .215 that season with eight home runs, 36 RBI and 52 runs scored. The home runs, RBI and runs scored were all career bests. Hardy spent the next two seasons in Houston with the Colt .45’s before returning to the minor leagues for the 1964-1965 seasons. He had a big league encore in 1967 when he appeared in 11 games for the Minnesota Twins. Hardy was an accomplished football player before committing to professional baseball. He as an All-Big Seven halfback at the University of Colorado and the MVP of the 1955 Hula Bowl. He spent one season in the NFL, playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
As you can see, Hardy does not answer questions. Still, he was kind enough to sign the card and return it to me, so I felt he should be included. His appearance as a pinch hitter for the Splendid Splinter came during the 1960 season. Hardy lined into a double play to complete an at bat Williams had started but had to leave after fouling a ball off of his foot. Hardy also pinch hit for Carl Yastrzemski and Roger Maris in his career. Following his baseball career, Hardy worked in the Denver Broncos front office and is credited with being the architect of the famed Orange Crush defense.
Carroll Hardy – career stats