John Joel Rucker (January 15, 1917 – August 7, 1985) was an American professional baseball player, an outfielder who appeared in 705 Major League Baseball games played, 607 as a center fielder, over six seasons (1940–1941; 1943–1946) for the New York Giants. The native of Crabapple, Georgia — a nephew of former Major League pitcher Nap Rucker — batted left-handed, threw right-handed, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg). He attended the University of Georgia.
Until broken by Pablo Sandoval in 2012, Rucker's 17-game hitting streak to start the 1945 campaign was the Giants' franchise record for a hitting streak to begin a season. The skein lasted from April 17 through May 9, and Rucker batted .333 with 28 hits in 84 at bats, with six doubles and two home runs. It was halted on May 11, 1945, by Frank Dasso of the Cincinnati Reds. During his MLB career, Rucker amassed 711 hits, including 105 doubles and 39 triples.
Rucker's professional career extended from 1938–1952, although he sat out the 1951 season.
By Dean Hanley
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