James spent six years in the big leagues, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals for five of them and the Cincinnati Reds for the final one. He broke in with St. Louis in 1960 and hit .180 in 43 games. Despite his struggles at the plate as a rookie, he became a regular for the Cardinals in 1961, appearing in 108 games while hitting .255 with four home runs. He was the team’s starting right fielder in 1962 as he posted a career-high batting average of .276 while also setting career highs in RBIs (59) and runs (50). James hit 10 home runs for the Cardinals in 1963, but saw his average dip to .223 in 1964. St. Louis traded him, along with Roger Craig, to the Reds for Bob Purkey in December of 1964. He only played in 26 games for the Reds in 1965, hitting .205. That year would be the end of his professional baseball career. Overall, James hit .255 with 29 home runs.
James and the 1964 Cardinals won the National League Pennant and advanced to the World Series where they faced the New York Yankees. James saw action in three games. He did not get a hit in three at bats. St. Louis, however, won the series in seven games.
We featured James’ favorite teammate, Joe Cunningham, in April, 2017.
Charlie James – career stats