Born: May 18, 1933
He was the only player to pinch-hit for Ted Williams. Of course, the only reason Carroll Hardy got a chance to do it was Williams had to leave a game in 1960 after he fouled a pitch off his foot. That fluke of an at-bat is about the only reason anyone remembers Hardy's eight-year career as an outfielder for the Indians, Red Sox, Astros, and Twins. Hardy also pinch-hit for Carl Yastrzemski in Yaz's rookie season of 1961, and in 1958, when he was with the Indians, Hardy hit a pinch homer batting for Roger Maris.
Hardy had one other distinction. In 1955, he played defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers (catching four touchdown passes from Y.A. Tittle), after starring in football, baseball, and track at the University of Colorado. He had started in professional baseball that year with the Indians, missing the 1957 season while in the service. He then played in a total of 59 games with the Indians in 1958 and 1959, spending most of those two seasons in AAA at San Diego and Seattle.
Traded to the Red Sox in 1960, he was a semi-regular in Boston. In 1962, Hardy played in a career-high 115 games, hitting .215 with eight homers and 36 RBIs.
He hung on for three more seasons with the Colt .45s and Twins, then retired with a .225 career batting average. While in Houston, Hardy hit .194 in 61 games over two seasons. He later became the assistant GM of the NFL's Denver Broncos.