Thomas William Harkness (born December 23, 1937) is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1961 to 1964 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.
Harkness was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent before the 1956 season. He was traded by the Phillies on April 5, 1957 along with a player to be named later, Ron Negray, Elmer Valo, a minor league player and $75,000 to the Brooklyn Dodgers in exchange for Chico Fernandez, with the Phillies completing the trade on April 8 when they sent Ben Flowers to the Dodgers.
Harkness made his major league debut on September 12, 1961 against the Phillies, working out a walk in five pitches against pitcher Chris Short as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning in a 19–10 loss at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He finished the 1961 season with four hits (including two doubles) in eight at bats, for a .500 batting average. In the 1962 season, he appeared in 92 games for the Dodgers, with nine hits (including two doubles and two home runs) in 62 at bats, and seven runs batted in. He hit the first home run of his career on April 17 in the top of the second inning against Mike McCormick to drive in Daryl Spencer, as part of an 8–7 win over the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.
He was traded by the Dodgers to the New York Mets on November 30, together with Larry Burright, in exchange for Bob Miller. In the 1963 season with the Mets, Harkness played in 123 games, getting 79 hits (including 12 doubles, three triples and 10 home runs) in 375 at bats, for a .211 batting average, together with 41 RBI. His seven times hit by pitch that season tied him for eighth among National League batters.
On April 17, 1964, Harkness led off for the Mets in the bottom of the first inning and had a single off of Bob Friend in the third inning to become the first Mets player to bat and the first to get a hit in the team's first game played at Shea Stadium as part of a 4–3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He finished the 1964 season with the Mets, having appeared in 39 games and getting 33 hits in 117 at bats (including two doubles, a triple and two home runs) for a .282 batting average, and 13 RBI.
As of 2010, Harkness is the manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Intercounty Baseball League.
- ^ a b c d e Tim Harkness, Baseball-Reference. Accessed September 24, 2008.
- ^ Sep 12, 1961, Phillies at Dodgers Play by Play and Box Score, Baseball-Reference. Accessed September 24, 2008.
- ^ Apr 17, 1962, Dodgers at Giants Box Score and Play by Play, Baseball-Reference. Accessed September 24, 2008.
- ^ 1963 National League Expanded Leaderboards, Baseball-Reference. Accessed September 24, 2008.
- ^ Durso, Joseph. "STARGELL STARS WITH 4 SAFETIES; Pirates' Left Fielder Leads Uphill Drive After Mets Score 3 Runs in 4th", The New York Times, April 18, 1964. Accessed September 24, 2008.
- ^ Mets Club Firsts, New York Mets. Accessed September 24, 2008.
By Dean Hanley
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