John Aloysius “Buddy” Hassett born on September 5, 1911 and died August 23, 1997. He played first base from 1936 to 1942.
Hassett started his professional baseball career in 1933 with the Wheeling Stogies and batted .332. In 1934 he played for the Norfolk Tars and hit .360.He also set the league record at the time for stolen bases. In 1935 he played for the Columbus Redbirds and hit .337 in the American Association and won a starting job in the majors for the next seven seasons.
He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, previously the Boston Bees, and New York Yankees. His major league career was cut short by World War II. In 1936 he set the record for fewest strikeouts by a rookie. He struck out just 17 times in 635 at bats. This record still stands.
In 1939, as a new first baseman for the Bees, Buddy led the club in hitting with a .308 average. He was also fifth in the league with 13 steals. The only challenge was that he could not hit for power.
In 1940, Buddy tied the National League record with 10 consecutive hits over three games in June yet he his batting average was just .234. That was 50 points lower than any other season during his career.
After serving in the Navy from 1943 to 1945, Hassett played in the minor leagues for a few years. He also managed for the Yankees farm team, the Newark Bears in the minors until 1950. Hassett was player coach of a team of players from the US Navy Pre-flight training program in Chapel Hill, NC that went to New York to play a War Chest benefit against a team of All Stars from the Yankees and Cleveland Indians, coached by Babe Ruth. The Navy team won the game and included Ted Williams, Johnny Sain, and Johnny Pesky along with Hassett. Hassett saw action in the Pacific aboard the Carrier the USS Bennington.