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Chuck Hinton built an eleven-year career as a Major League Baseball player. From 1961-71, he was responsible for bringing many memorable moments to the world of professional baseball.
He is the only black person to have made it to the big league from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He was the last Senator to hit over .300—a record he hopes will soon be shattered if Washington, D.C. gets another Major League team. He was responsible for the formation of The Major League Baseball Players’ Alumni Association in 1982. He has rubbed elbows with such baseball greats as Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.
In the early ’60s, he led the Senators in batting three out of the four seasons he played for the team. He also led that team in stolen bases and triples all four years. To top it off, he had the privilege of being voted into the 1964 All-Star Game by the players.
Having also played for the Indians and the Angels, Chuck Hinton contributed countless other memorable moments, including inside- and outside-the-park home runs and a grand slam.
His Minor League career highlights include 1959 Rookie of the Year, back-to-back league batting championships and league Most Valuable Player.
Although his first love was catching, he soon wound up in the outfield because of his great speed. From there, he went on to play every position except pitcher.
However, don’t think for a second that he slid into any of those achievements with ease. Success wasn’t handed to him. He is quick to say that although he had a ball his entire career, there were many challenges along the way. But he learned how to handle life’s curve balls. He persevered.
After hanging up his hat in the Major Leagues, he kept his hand in the sport he loved so much. He coached baseball at Howard University, while holding a full-time job with the D.C. Department of Recreation.
There is no question he has been devoted to the sport. But Chuck Hinton is one player who could teach you a lot more than baseball. He also persevered in the game called life. He always believed that being a good person was just as important as being a good player. Among the principles he carried from his career to his personal life: Be nice to everyone, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, smile and make others feel special, treat others with respect, learn from your mistakes, believe in yourself and, above all, don’t forget to thank God.
Although he pursued a tough career with many days on the road, he never lost sight of what’s really important: family. He fathered four children and has been married to Irma, “Bunny,” for over 46 years.
Chuck Hinton, one of the chosen few to achieve “every kid’s dream,” shares his story of perseverance on and off the field with encouragement, humor and wisdom.