Glancing Back, and Remembering Charlie James
Charley James spent all but one of his six seasons in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He was signed by the Cardinals in 1958 and was ready to join the big league club in 1960, batting .180 with two home runs and five RBIs in 50 at-bats.
He was always a part-time outfielder for the Cardinals, batting .255 in 1961 with 19 doubles, four home runs and 44 RBIs. He raised his average to .276 with eight home runs and 59 RBIs in 1962, and in 1963 he pounded 10 home runs with 45 runs batted in and a .268 batting average.
His playing time in 1964 was cut drastically when the Cardinals acquired Lou Brock from the Chicago Cubs. Brock took over everyday left field duties, relegating James to occasional appearances and only 233 at-bats, producing a .233 batting average with five home runs and 17 RBIs.
In December of 1964, James was traded with Roger Craig to the Cincinnati Reds for Bob Purkey. He became strictly a pinch hitter and occasional defensive replacement for the Reds, batting .205 in only 39 at-bats. He retired after the 1965 season.
James finished with a career batting average of .255 with 358 hits. He hit 56 doubles, 29 home runs and drove in 172 runs.