The Obit For Herb Hash

Herb Hash, Former Red Sox Player Dies

AP 5/21/2008

CULPEPER, Va. — Herbert H. Hash, the oldest living former Red Sox pitcher, died Tuesday, according to the University of Richmond, where he played several college sports. He was 97.

Hash died of a stroke in his hometown of Culpeper, the
university's sports department said in a news release.

He played two major league seasons, both with Boston, and compiled an 8-7 record with a 4.98 ERA in 38 appearances including 12 starts. He was 7-7 with a 4.95 ERA in 1940 and 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in four games, all in relief, in 1941.

The oldest living former Red Sox player is third baseman Billy Werber, who turned 99 last June 20.

At Richmond, Hash was a three-year letterman in basketball and baseball and he also was a high jumper on the track team. He was a member of Richmond's 20-0 basketball team in 1935, and he
finished with a 13-4 record as a pitcher.

Hash was inducted into the university's 1985-86 Hall of Fame class.

Hash is survived by three sons, Herbert Hash Jr. of Boone, N.C., Randy Hash of Bluemont, Va., and Happy Hash of Culpeper, Va.; and a daughter, Reva Hash of Culpeper.

Hash always had soft spot for Culpeper Co.

By Shane Mettlen the Star Exponent

Published: May 22, 2008

To Herb Hash, Boston was always home. But it wasn’t the Massachusetts metropolis — where Hash, who died Tuesday at age 97, pitched two big league seasons with the Red Sox — that captured his heart. It was the village of Boston, Va., where he built his home and his family.

“I was born in Boston, Mass., when my dad was pitching for the Red Sox,” Herb Hash Jr. said Wednesday. “But Dad built a log house out on (Route) 522 and lived out there for close to 60 years at the old home place.”

Baseball took Hash away from home and out of Virginia. As a teenager he ran away so he could attend Fredericksburg High School and play ball. He did so well he went on to the University of Richmond where he was a four-sport star, a member of the Spiders only undefeated basketball team in 1935 and was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame 50 years later.

After staring in college, Hash got his shot at the big leagues. He started 12 games for the Red Sox in 1940 and played with the likes of Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx and Dom DiMaggio. Hash was living a dream in Boston, but his heart was back in the woods of Virginia. He spent his off seasons in Culpeper County, cutting logs for his cabin home and courting Ruth Weaver. The two would marry and have three boys — Herb Jr., Randy and Happy — and a daughter, Reva.

Hash pitched for the Red Sox again in 1941 and was a roomed with the famously cantankerous Williams because, as Herb Jr. put it, he was just about the only guy on the team that could get along with the Hall of Famer. Hash and Williams bonded over Florida fishing excursions during spring training.

But Hash had a lingering high school football injury that helped put an end to his pro baseball career after two seasons with the Sox, finishing with an ERA of 4.98.

“If he hadn’t had the injuries, who knows how good he would have been,” Herb Jr. said. “He was a pretty good hitter too and he might have pitched for a long time.”

Instead he came home to Culpeper County and his log cabin. He was a teacher and a baseball coach at Culpeper County High School and the principal at Salem Elementary School. The baseball hero became a staple of the community, which is why a steady stream of visitors have visited Happy Hash’s house the past two days, paying their respects and letting the family know just what their father meant to the community.

“He was a stalwart,” Culpeper resident Donna Boyd said. Boyd was a student of Hash’s and a classmate of Herb Jr. “He was strong and he didn’t say something unless he really meant it.”

He spent his free time teaching his children to play sports and taking them hunting and fishing in the woods near the house.

He started the Hazel River summer camp for boys and kept it in operation for 10 years with famous visitors such as DiMaggio occasionally dropping by.

“He was always a strong community person,” Herb Jr. said. “He would do anything he could to help people in the community. We had people come by to visit him in the hospital when he was slowly leaving us and the people he had taught said he meant more to them than most people would ever know.”

Herb Hash
Visitation tonight, 6-8 p.m., at Found and Sons Funeral Home. Graveside service Friday, 11 a.m., at Fairview Cemetery.