Solid, muscular Chuck Harrison is to baseball what Hallmark is to the greeting card industry. He has a batting stance for every occasion. Name the occasion and the Astros’ young first baseman will come up with something special. Chuck may stand up tall, crouch over the plate or squat like a man with arthritis who can’t straighten his back. He may stand deep in the batter’s box or up front where he can see the color of the pitcher’s eyes.
At times, he will adopt Ron Santo’s style, or Richie Allen’s, or teammate John Bateman’s. One stance so startled Manager Grady Hatton that he yelled to Chuck in the batting cage, “Why don’t you sit in the catcher’s lap and hit?”
By his own conservative estimate, Chuck made at least five major variations in his style last season and too many minor ones to bother counting. “I’m trying to cut it to one,” he repeats a fervent hope. “If I find that one natural stance it will make hitting a lot easier for me.”
Not one to set goals, Chuck wouldn’t be disappointed with a .260 average, 20 to 25 homes and a lot of RBI’s in 1967. “I’d just like to have a good year,” he says. And maybe, find a batting stance he can stick with all the way.