Robert Julius Habenicht
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.
- School Saint Louis University
- Debut April 17, 1951
- Final Game May 3, 1953
- Born February 13, 1926 in St. Louis, MO USA
- Died December 24, 1980 in Richmond, VA USA
Bob Habenicht was a native of St. Louis, MO, who had the distinction of pitching for both his hometown St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns. Bob was in three games for the Cardinals in 1951 and had one outing for the last edition of the Browns in 1953.
The 18-year-old righthander was signed by the Cardinals as an amateur free agent before the 1944 season and was assigned to the class D Lima Red Birds of the Ohio State League where he went 1-2 in four games. He then was with the class B Allentown Cardinals of the Interstate League, pitching 12 innings with no decisions before being called up to serve in the Air Force for the remainder of 1944 and all of 1945, during World War II.
"Hobby" as he was mostly referred as, got back for the 1946 season with the class D Carthage Cardinals of the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League where he was unimpressive with a 2-11 record, but he did post a 3.60 ERA. "Hobby" spent five more seasons in the minors, where in 1948 he went 12-3 with a 2.11 ERA for the Lynchburg Cardinals. Bob was in three games with no decisions in the National League early in the 1951 season, before rosters had to be trimmed to 25 players, then played the rest of that season with the AAA Rochester Red Wings where he went 11-6 with a 4.32 ERA. He was back in the minors in 1952, with both the Houston Buffaloes and Rochester], with a combined 5-3 record.
After that season, Habenicht was selected off waivers by the St. Louis Browns from the Cardinals on October 1st. "Hobby" appeared in one game for the Browns in 1953 with no decision, which gave him a 0-0 record in four appearances in the majors and spelled the end of that part of his baseball career. Bob spent the rest of 1953 with the Charleston Senators of the American Association where he won 4 and lost 7 with a 3.51 ERA.
"Hobby" was with the Richmond Virginians of the International League in 1954, going 7-13 with a 4.48 ERA. He showed up with the same outfit in 1955, leading the IL in losses with 18, along with 9 wins and a 3.77 ERA. This was the year he received his law degree from Saint Louis University and was later quoted as saying: "I was studying law books in the dugout when my manager thought I should be studying the hitters."
"Hobby" had spent 11 seasons in the minors, winning 77 games and losing 97. He appeared in 339 outings, pitching 1,543 innings, giving up 1534 base hits along with 743 base on balls for a career 3.94 ERA.
He continued to make his home in Richmond, VA where he became a prominent attorney. He also entered the political arena and was elected to the city council and served as vice-mayor of the city, where he died December 24, 1980, at age 54.