New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: H

Vic Hadfield


Vic Hadfield (Hockey.  Born, Oakville, Ont., Oct. 4, 1940.)  As the rugged left winger on the GAG (goal-a-game) line with Rod Gilbert and Jean Ratelle, Victor Edward Hadfield had many chances for goals.  Hadfield never scored more than 26 in his first 10 seasons with the Rangers before 1971-72.  That year, however, his first as captain, he became the first Ranger and only the sixth player in N.H.L. history to reach the 50-goal plateau, talllying Nos. 49 and 50 on Apr. 2, the final game of the regular season, against Montreal at the Garden.  Hadfield then returned to a more familiar level of goal production and was traded to Pittsburgh May 27, 1974.  He had 262 goals for the Rangers, who drafted him out of the Chicago organization in 1961.

Walter Hagen


Walter Hagen (Golf.  Born, Rochester, NY, Dec. 21, 1892; died, Traverse City, MI, Oct. 5, 1969.)  A flamboyant personality and skilled player, Walter Hagen was the best-known U.S. golfer of the 1920s and had a large role in popularizing the game.  Hagen won 40 pro tournaments, including 17 majors, before he retired from regular competition in 1940.  He won the Metropolitan Open three times (1916, 1919, 1920), defeating Jim Barnes  in a playoff, 70-74, in 1920.  “The Haig” was a runner-up in 1934.  He won the U.S. Open twice (1914, 1919) and the British Open four times (1922, 1924, 1928, 1929), but it was the P.G.A. where he made his greatest mark.  Hagen won his first P.G.A. in 1921 and set a record with four straight (1924-27).  He was second to Gene Sarazen in 1923.  During his record run, Hagen took 22 straight matches, in what was then a match-play event, before being stopped by Leo Diegel at Baltimore in 1928.  Even with a reduced schedule, he always entered the P.G.A., playing his last in 1940.  Hagen also won the Western Open five times.  Playing primarily out of the Detroit (Mich.) A.C., he was in constant demand for exhibitions and charity events.  Despite his colorful demeanor, Hagen was a great shotmaker under all conditions and won the 1927 P.G.A. title coming straight from a month-long hunting trip.  He captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team eight times, the last two (1941, 1947) as honorary (non-playing) captain.

Paul Hahn


Paul Hahn (Golf.  Born, Charleston, SC, June 12, 1918; died, Lake Worth, FL, Mar. 3, 1976.)  The most famous trick shot artist in golf, Paul Hahn started his act in 1949 after three mediocre years on the P.G.A. tour.  Hahn continued to perform regular exhibitions until 1975 even after open heart surgery (1974).  He was a humorous, chatty, and engaging performer who often appeared in films and on television talk shows.

Hinkey Haines


Hinkey Haines (Pro football.  Born, Red Lion, PA, Dec. 23, 1898; died, Sharon Hill, PA, Jan. 9, 1979.)  The only man to have played for both a World Series and an N.F.L. champion, Henry Luther Haines was a Penn State back who quarterbacked the Football Giants to the 1927 N.F.L. championship, the franchise’s first.  Haines was with the Giants for their first four seasons in the league (1925-28) and then moved to the Stapletons on Staten Island for two more N.F.L. seasons (1929, ’31).  In 1931, he also coached the Stapes, though he resigned partway through the Stapes’ 4-6-1 season.  He played 28 games in his one major league season and had only four hits in 25 at-bats for the 1923 Yankees, who that fall won the franchise’s first World Series.  In the decisive sixth game of the Series, Haines, pinch-running, scored the tying run in a five-run eighth that rallied the Yankees past the Giants for a 6-4 win at the Polo Grounds.

Happy Hairston


Happy Hairston (College basketball.  Born, Winston-Salem, NC, May 31, 1942; died, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2001.)  A 6’7” forward, Harold Hairston was a teammate of Barry Kramer for three seasons and helped N.Y.U. to a 55-20 record from 1961-64.  He missed the first half of his junior year (1962-63) for academic reasons but still finished his career second in scoring (1,346) and fourth in rebounds (793) for the Violets.  Hairston had two 38-point games against Holy Cross at the Garden in successive years (Feb. 14, 1963, and Feb. 6, 1964).  He later had a successful N.B.A. career, primarily with the Los Angeles Lakers.

George Halas


(Baseball.  Born, Chicago, IL, Feb. 2, 1895; died, Chicago, IL, Oct. 31, 1983.)  Famed as “Papa Bear,” the founder and father figure of the N.F.L. Chicago Bears, George Stanley Halas was also a Yankees outfielder – briefly.  Halas appeared in 12 games for the Yankees in 1919, six of them in the outfield.  He had two hits (both singles) in 22 at-bats for an .091 average and struck out eight times.  He then decided his future lay in pro football, where he became instrumental in building the N.F.L.

Dale Hall


Dale Hall (College basketball, college football.  Born, Pittsburg, KS, June 21, 1924; died, Bunnell, FL, Aug. 23, 1996.)  A basketball all-America at West Point during World War II, Dale Stanley Hall returned to become Red Blaik’s successor as Cadets football coach.  Hall (who averaged 18.2 points per game) was an all-America on Ed Kelleher’s 15-0 team in 1943-44 and repeated the following season (when he averaged 14.2).  He gave up his Army commission in 1949 to become an assistant football coach at Purdue.  Ten years later, the former backup halfback became head coach at Army.  His teams were 16-11-2 in three years (1959-61) but he lost three straight to Navy and was fired after the 1961 season.

Jim Hall


Jim Hall (Public address.  Born, New York, NY, May 30, 1933.)  Perhaps the most-heard but least known public address announcer in New York sports, James Joseph Hall began filling in for the legendary Bob Sheppard in 1963.  The pair became acquainted as student and teacher when Hall went from St. John’s Prep to St. John’s, where Sheppard was already the notable voice.  After beginning a teaching career at John Adams H.S., Hall in 1959 started teaching speech and public speaking at St. John’s.  He also coached the debate team.  Four years later, Sheppard invited him to work with him as a backup and also his spotter for the Giants N.F.L. games at Yankee Stadium.  In the ensuing four decades, he did over 300 Yankees games, dozens of Giants games, and also became the voice of St. John’s women’s basketball, lacrosse, baseball, and football.  In 2006, Hall succeeded Sheppard as the regular Giants announcer and, in 2008, took over for the Yankees when Sheppard was incapacitated by illness, working virtually every game, including that year’s All-Star Game.  Hall eventually became a department chairman at St. John’s and manned the microphone for football, lacrosse, baseball, and women’s basketball.  When the Yankees moved into their new Stadium in 2009, Paul Olden became the regular P.A. announcer.

Becky Hammon


Becky Hammon (Pro basketball.  Born, Rapid City, SD, Mar. 1, 1977.)  Somewhat overlooked as a member of the Liberty for five years, Rebecca Lynn Hammon emerged as a W.N.B.A. star in 2004.  That season, Hammon started all 34 games at point guard, leading the Liberty in scoring (13.5 points per game), assists, and steals.  She played just 11 games the year before but set a Liberty single-game record with 33 points at Minnesota June 6.  Hammon then tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee June 27 against Detroit, ending her season.  Prior to 2004, Hammon had started only 19 times in 137 career games but was a valuable reserve (averaging 10.9 points in 2000).  She was an all-American at Colorado State who signed with the W.N.B.A. and was assigned to New York May 12, 1999.  After eight seasons with the Liberty, she was traded in the spring of 2007 to San Antonio.  In 227 games with New York, she averaged 10.4 points per game.

George Hammond


George Hammond (Sportswriter.  Born, New York, NY, Nov. 29, 1907; died, Mystic, CT, Dec. 4, 2003.)  Straight out of college (like his fellow staffer Ed Dooley), George Hammond was hired as a sportswriter by The Sun.  Hammond spent six years (1928-34) at the paper before moving into public relations with the Carl Byoir organization.  He eventually became chairman of Carl Byoir and also served as president of the Public Relations Society of America in 1969.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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