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Ex-Giant Clint Hartung, on base for Thompson's blast, dies

SINTON, Texas - Clint Hartung, a onetime New York Giants prospect who scored as a pinch-runner on Bobby Thomson's 1951 pennant-winning homer, has died. He was 87.

A family spokesman says Hartung died July 8 in Sinton.

Nicknamed by sportswriters "The Hondo Hurricane," the native of Hondo, Texas, was once among baseball's top prospects on the mound and at bat.

Hartung's six-year major league career never took off as expected, however. The Giants shuffled him from pitcher to first base to the outfield in 1950, then he moved exclusively to the outfield the next season.

From 1947 to 1952, he was 29-29 in 112 games, including 72 starts, with a 5.02 ERA. He had a .238 career average with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs.

His biggest moment came during a ninth-inning rally in the deciding Game 3 of the 1951 National League playoff against the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was inserted as a pinch runner. With Hartung on third and Lockman on second, Giants third baseman Thomson belted an 0-1 pitch off Dodgers reliever Ralph Branca for a three-run homer, a 5-4 win and the National League pennant. - AP

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