In 11 seasons with the Bucs, Hebner was a starting third baseman on teams that featured the famed Lumber Company lineups of Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, and more. Hebner had a short left-handed stroke that generated power, hitting as many as 25 homers for the Pirates.
Hebner earned the nickname “Gravedigger” because that’s the off-season job he held for much of the first part of his baseball career. Wielding the shovel kept his upper body strong and he was able to log more than 1,900 games for five teams. After his stint with the Pirates he was a valuable platoon player for the Philadelphia Phillies, helping them to two division titles in the late 1970s. In fact, from 1970 to 1970, Hebner played on seven of the nine NL East Division winners. Later he had short stints with the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers before winding his career down with a return to Pittsburgh and two seasons on the north side with the Chicago Cubs.