Rosengren: SABR member Seth Hawkins chasing his own 3,000-hit club

From SABR member John Rosengren at the New Yorker on June 7, 2015, on SABR member Seth Hawkins:

Sometime this month, Alex Rodriguez is likely to get his three-thousandth hit, becoming the twenty-ninth player in major-league history, and only the second Yankee, to reach the milestone. Whether it happens at Camden Yards, in Baltimore, Marlins Park, in Miami, or at home, at Yankee Stadium, Seth Hawkins will be there. Hawkins has been there for each of the last twenty batters who have joined the three-thousand-hit club, from Hank Aaron in 1970 to Derek Jeter four summers ago.

Hawkins, who is seventy-two, grew up in Queens. A solitary and unathletic kid, he didn’t play baseball. “My sport was chess,” he said. But he listened to games on the tabletop radio in his living room, pulling in broadcasts from as far away as St. Louis and Chicago. “The whole league was available if you had a good radio.” By age nine, he was riding the subway on his own to go to afternoon games at one of New York’s three ballparks.

He credits his mother, a secretary for an insurance company, for his love of the game and for his appreciation of its history. The summer he turned ten, she took him to Boston to see a game at Braves Field before the team uprooted for Milwaukee.

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Originally published: June 22, 2015. Last Updated: June 22, 2015.