The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers

By Lyle Spatz; Maurice Bouchard et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 47. Joe Hatten

Joseph Wancho

After four seasons of double-digit victories as a starter for the Dodgers (1946–49), left-handed pitcher Joe Hatten started only twenty-eight games over the next three seasons. He then departed the Major Leagues for a long career in the Minors.

When Hatten was asked what single thrill he remembered from his days as a Major Leaguer, he replied, “I remember Brooklyn and liked it very much. I can’t just pick out any one thrill. Every day was a thrill while playing in Brooklyn. I thought they were a great bunch of fans.”1

Joseph Hilarian Hatten was born on November 7, 1916, in Bancroft, Iowa. He was the fourth of eleven children (six girls and five boys) born to Frank and Gertrude Hatten. Frank owned a harness-making shop, a lively trade in a period when horses were still important to American commerce.

Joe’s first experience at playing baseball was at the Junior American Legion level as a teenager. When he grew too old for Legion ball, he played semipro baseball around Bancroft for four years. In 1938 Hatten signed a Minor League contract with Sioux City of the Nebraska State League. However, the Cowboys released him a month into the season, and there is no evidence that he got into any games.

Joe Hatten won seventeen games in 1947, sixteen against
second-division teams.

Hatten signed the next year, 1939, with Crookston (Minnesota) of the Class D Northern League. In his first full professional season, he led the team in victories, posting a 14–14 win-loss record for the last-place club. He had an earned run average of 3.02 and led the league with 299 strikeouts, including 21 in one game. In 1940 Hatten played for the Dodgers’ Class B Anniston (Alabama) farm club of the Southeastern League. The competition was tougher and Joe slipped to 7–18 with a 5.31 ERA. Yet in 1941 Hatten found himself pitching at the top Minor League level, with the unaffiliated Minneapolis Millers of the American Association. He won five and lost six, pitching both in a starting role and in relief.

Andy Cohen of the Dodgers had been scouting Hatten as a Minor Leaguer. Based on Cohen’s

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The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chapter 1- How the 1947 Team Was Built 1
  • Chapter 2- Spring Training in Havana 3
  • Chapter 3- Jackie Robinson 6
  • Chapter 4- Branch Rickey 15
  • Chapter 5- Leo Durocher 22
  • Chapter 6- Kirby Higbe 28
  • Chapter 7- Bobby Bragan 32
  • Chapter 8- Dixie Walker 36
  • Chapter 9- Carl Furillo 44
  • Chapter 10- The Suspension of Leo Durocher 50
  • Chapter 11- Branch Rickey and the Mainstream Press 57
  • Chapter 12- Timeline, April 15-April 30 62
  • Chapter 13- Ebbets Field, 1947 64
  • Chapter 14- Jackie Robinson’s First Game 67
  • Chapter 15- Clyde Sukeforth 69
  • Chapter 16- Burt Shotton 73
  • Chapter 17- Ray Blades 80
  • Chapter 18- Spider Jorgensen 84
  • Chapter 19- Hal Gregg 87
  • Chapter 20- Timeline, May L-May 20 92
  • Chapter 21- Hank Behrman 95
  • Chapter 22- Rube Melton 99
  • Chapter 23- Jackie Robinson and the Jews 103
  • Chapter 24- Timeline, May 21-June 15 105
  • Chapter 25- Gene Hermanski 109
  • Chapter 26- Hugh Casey 113
  • Chapter 27- Rex Barney 119
  • Chapter 28- Tommy Brown 124
  • Chapter 29- Harry Taylor 129
  • Chapter 30- Timeline, June 16-June 29 132
  • Chapter 31- Ed Chandler 134
  • Chapter 32- Marv Rackley 137
  • Chapter 33- Gil Hodges 140
  • Chapter 34- George Dockins 146
  • Chapter 35- Eddie Stanky 150
  • Chapter 36- Timeline, June 30-July 14 157
  • Chapter 37- Arky Vaughan 159
  • Chapter 38- Duke Snider 164
  • Chapter 39- Ralph Branca 172
  • Chapter 40- Clyde King 176
  • Chapter 41- Jake Pitler 181
  • Chapter 42- Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1947 All-Star Game 185
  • Chapter 43- Timeline, July 15—July 31 186
  • Chapter 44- Pee Wee Reese 189
  • Chapter 45- Bruce Edwards 197
  • Chapter 46- The Protested Game of July 20, 1947 201
  • Chapter 47- Joe Hatten 203
  • Chapter 48- Timeline, August 1-August 17 207
  • Chapter 49- Howie Schultz 210
  • Chapter 50- Pete Reiser 215
  • Chapter 51- Tommy Tatum 223
  • Chapter 52- Timeline, August 18-August 31 226
  • Chapter 53- Eddie Miksis 228
  • Chapter 54- Stan Rojek 232
  • Chapter 55- Dan Bankhead 235
  • Chapter 56- Timeline, September L-September 19 239
  • Chapter 57- Phil Haugstad 242
  • Chapter 58- Don Lund 246
  • Chapter 59- Vic Lombardi 250
  • Chapter 60- Jack Banta 254
  • Chapter 61- Johnny Van Cuyk 257
  • Chapter 62- Timeline, September 20-September 28 261
  • Chapter 63- Willie Ramsdell 263
  • Chapter 64- Dick Whitman 267
  • Chapter 65- Ervpalica 271
  • Chapter 66- Ed Stevens 276
  • Chapter 67- Walter O’Malley 279
  • Chapter 68- John L. Smith 284
  • Chapter 69- Red Barber 287
  • Chapter 70- Connie Desmond 294
  • Chapter 71- Advertising and the Dodgers in 1947 298
  • Chapter 72- The 1947 World Series 305
  • Chapter 73- Al Gionfriddo 312
  • Chapter 74- Cookie Lavagetto 316
  • Chapter 75- Al Gionfriddo’s Memorable Game Six Catch 320
  • Chapter 76- Lavagetto Ends Bill Bevens’s No-Hit Attempt 323
  • Chapter 77- Most Valuable Player Award 326
  • Chapter 78- Rookie of the Year Award 327
  • Chapter 79- Cy Young Award 328
  • Chapter 80- Dodgers Attendance in 1947 329
  • Chapter 81 - Ownership Issues in Brooklyn 333
  • Epilogue 337
  • Notes and References 339
  • Contributors 373
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