Aaron Doster/Associated Press
He was 87.
Hardy played for four teams during his MLB career from 1958-1967. He is best known for pinch hitting for Ted Williams during the 1960 season, becoming the only player to ever pinch hit for the Boston Red Sox legend.
In addition to his baseball career, Hardy played one season for the San Francisco 49ers in 1955 after starring as a three-sport athlete at Colorado.
After retiring from baseball, Hardy joined the Denver Broncos front office as an executive and helped put together their famed “Orange Crush” defense.
He once told the Denver Post (h/t the Associated Press): “I’d like to have people remember me for hitting 400 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .305, but I didn’t do that. But it’s not bad being remembered as the only man to ever pinch hit for Ted Williams.”
CU athletic director Rick George said in a statement (h/t Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post): “I had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with Carroll several times—what a wonderful man and a true icon in the state. His list of accomplishments in his lifetime and the people he touched are really second-to-none. We have lost a great Buffalo.”