Chuck Hinton, the last player for the Washington Senators to hit .300, and who later became the head baseball coach at Howard University and the founder of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, died Jan. 27 at his home in the Washington, D.C. He was 78. He had Parkinson’s disease, his daughter Kimberly Stewart said.
Hinton, who was born in Rocky Mount, was considered the best player on some atrocious Senators teams of the early 1960s. He joined the club in 1961, when a new expansion team began playing in Washington after the original Senators had departed for Minnesota.
In his four seasons with the Senators, the fast and powerful Hinton was one of the few bright spots on a team that lost at least 100 games each year. He was primarily an outfielder, but he was so skilled that he played seven positions for the Senators.
His finest season came in 1962, when his .310 batting average was fourth in the American League. No Senator ever hit .300 again before the franchise moved to Texas after the 1971 season.
Charles Edward Hinton Jr. was born May 3, 1934, in Rocky Mount. He played football, basketball and baseball at Shaw University in Raleigh and served two years in the Army in the 1950s. In 1956, he hitchhiked 300 miles to attend a baseball tryout camp, where he was signed by the Baltimore Orioles. He won two minor-league batting championships in the Orioles system before he was claimed in an expansion draft after the 1960 season by the newly formed Senators.
In 1965, while still playing in the major leagues, Hinton began working for the D.C. Recreation Department, where he mentored young people for more than 30 years. He was an outstanding golfer who often played in charity tournaments. He was a member of the Integrity Church International in Landover, Md.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Irma Macklin Hinton of Washington; three children, Charles E. Hinton III of Washington, Kimberly Stewart of Mitchellville, Md., and Tiffany Salaberrios of City Island, N.Y.; and three granddaughters. A daughter, Jonquil Branch Hawkins, Md., died in 2002.
Hinton remained a fan favorite in Washington throughout his life, and Howard named him to its coaching hall of fame.
“This job with Howard is thrilling,” Hinton told The Post in 1972. “Every ballplayer has a desire to manage. Mine is to coach youngsters. What more can a man want?”