Born: December 14, 1896
Died: May 9, 1979
SCharles Russell Hargreaves was born December 14, 1896 in Trenton. He stood an even six feet and was solidly built at 170 pounds. Though slow of foot, he had a strong arm, quick bat and a head for baseball. He attended Trenton High School, where he played catcher. Charlie was 24 when he signed his first pro contract. He played 82 games with Pittsfield of the Eastern League and batted .277. He upped that mark to .301 with the Hillies in 1922.
In 1923, the Brooklyn Robins purchased Charlie’s contract and he served as the team’s third-strong catcher behind Hank DeBerry and Zack Taylor. He played 20 games and batted a respectable .281. Charlie remained a backup with Brooklyn, but was a particular favorite of the fans in Ebbets Field. In a game against the Phillies, George Harper plowed into him and then had to endure a shower of pop bottles and garbage when he took his position in the outfield.
Charlie worked his way into the everyday lineup in 1928 after an early season trade with the Pirates. He was Pittsburgh’s starting catcher in 1929 and hit .268 with 44 RBIs. His talent for loosening up teammates in tight situations made him a popular Pirate. However, in 1930, the Pirates farmed him out after young Rollie Hemsley took over. Charlie spent the rest of his career in the minors. He was the starting catcher for Al Mamaux’s 1932 Newark Bears, where he teamed with rising stars Dixie Walker, Red Rolfe and Johnny Murphy.
Charlie was 37 in his final year as a player, with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. He stayed in baseball as a coach and did a little managing in the minors after World War II. He retired with a .270 lifetime average in 1,188 at bats and caught both ends of a doubleheader 17 times as a big leaguer. After baseball he retired to Trenton, where he was very active in the local Freemason Lodge. He passed away in Neptune at the age of 82.