I have no idea how good of a two-way player George Hunter was in 1908. He spent that season with the Nashville Volunteers of the Southern Association. The reason I don’t know and the reason no one really knows is that there are no pitching stats for Hunter in that season. We do know that he appeared in 14 games as a pitcher and went 8-5, but that’s as far as his pitching stats take us. He appeared in an additional 46 games, playing somewhere other than pitcher, we’re also unsure of where exactly he played. He slashed .264/?/.333 in 201 at-bats with 18 stolen bases. I’m willing to give Hunter the benefit of the doubt and assume he was decent enough on both sides to warrant further attention as a two-way player.
That attention came in 1909 with the National League’s Brooklyn Superbas. He saw action in 44 games. He pitched in 16, played left field in 4, center field in 1, and right field in 18. In 113.1 innings on the mound the left-hander had an ERA of 2.46, a FIP of 2.77, and a WHIP of 1.253. He didn’t have a lot of strikeouts, 43, but he did give up a lot of contact, 8.3 H/9. His ERA+ of 106 places him as a decidedly average pitcher. As a switch hitter, Hunter garnered 135 plate appearances. He slashed .228/.286/.285 with no power and the speed he showed at Nashville wasn’t even a part of his game as he only stole 1 base. He sported an OPS+ of 80 and was not a good hitter.
All total Hunter managed an rWAR of 0.3 on the season. Hunter would never give the two-way game another shot, and that’s probably for the best. When it comes to two-way players the name George Hunter isn’t going to be brought up all that often. He wasn’t great nor was he terrible. Hunter managed to slide right into a mediocre range that made him instantly forgettable and he’s remained that way since the moment he hung his cleats up for good.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Society for American Baseball Research