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Monday, June 17, 2013

Rob Hartwig, Went Back - 3079

Rob Hartwig went back on the ball, thinking he could make a play. But he couldn't. The ball was over the fence for a grand slam.

"I thought it had a pretty good chance," Hartwig told The Omaha World-Herald afterward. "The wind was blowing pretty good."

This was in the 1987 College World Series. And that grand slam ended Hartwig's Louisiana State University Tigers' chance at the title. It was also a scene, of Hartwig leaning against the fence in the aftermath, that at least one fan recalled years later.

That grand slam also ended Hartwig's college career, one where he set the season mark and career mark at LSU for stolen bases.

He went on to turn pro, but apparently not until 1990, when he was signed by the Phillies as a undrafted 22-year-old free agent. The record doesn't give an explanation for the gap, including how a still-19-year-old Hartwig could be a senior in 1987.

Regardless, both his ProCards card and have the Phillies signee coming out of LSU, and starting his pro career in 1990.

At LSU, Hartwig played two seasons. He's also credited as playing previously at Harbor College in California, getting drafted in 1985 by the Padres in the January draft.

Hartwig was also fast. In 1987, Hartwig stole 42 bases in 67 games, still a school record. The previous year he stole 31 in 54 games.

Leading up to the 1987 College World Series, Hartwig was the beneficiary of a balk in a key play. "The guy has a really good move when he doesn't balk. But yeah, I thought it was close," Hartwig told The Los Angeles Times after that game.

As a pro, Hartwig started in 1990 at short-season Batavia. He got into 50 games, hitting .331 and stealing 14 bases.

For 1991, Hartwig played 37 games at single-A Spartanburg, hitting .244 and stealing six. He also played 20 games at high-A Clearwater, hitting .270 there. But Hartwig's second season was also his final year as a pro.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,177
Made the Majors: 677 - 57.5%
Never Made Majors: 500-42.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 292
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 174

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