|Moon Harris, .440 Batter in
'25 Series, Dead at 68
First Sacker and Outfielder Had Rep as One of top Curve-Ball Hitters in O.B.
Joseph (Moon} Harris, a slugging first basernan and outfielder in the majors
between 1917 and 1928 who was rated as one of the game's top curveball hitters, died at his home in Plum Borough, Pa., near Pittsburgh, December 10, following a long illness. He was 68.
During his major league career with the Yankees, Indians, Red Sox, Senators,
Pirates and Dodgers, Harris compiled a lifetime batting mark of .317.
Recalling his ability to hit the curve recently, Moon said: "Seems like those pitchers never learned. If I made 150 hits a year, 130 of them must have been on curve balls."
He appeared in two games for the Yankees in 1914 and was with Bay City
(Southern Michigan) and Chattanooga (Southern) before he joined the Indians
in 1917. He served with the 80th Division in 1918 and, despite injuries suffered in the line of duty in France which almost ended his playing career, returned to the Indians in 1919 in time to appear in 62 games.
"I batted 375 in 1919 and was offered a contract for only $5,000 for 1920," he said later. "I was offered $5,000 to play independent ball with the Franklin team in the Franklin-Oil City League and I took it. They set me up in business, too."
Harris returned to the Indians in 1922 and was traded to the Red Sox for First Baseman Stuffy McInnis. He remained with the Boston club until he was traded to Washington in April of 1925, and helped the Senators Win the pennant.
The Senators won three of the first four Series games from the Pirates but finally lost the battle for the world's title, four games to three, despite Harris' slugging. He collected 11 hits, including three homers, in 25 times at bat for a .440 average.
The Senators sold Moon to the Pirates in February, 1927, and he hit .326 for
Pittsburgh, pennant-winners that season. Again Moon was on a loser in the classic. The Yankees defeated the Pirates in four straight games.
In 1928, Harris went to Brooklyn and then into the minors and retired from the game after spending the l931 season with Buffalo and Toronto (International). Before his illness, he operated a fruit farm in Renton, Pa.