Hall of Fame: Rogers Hornsby (1942)

Hornsby or Lajoie? Come back tomorrow.


 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
1915 19 STL NL 18 57 5 14 2 0 0 4 0 2 2 6 .246 .271 .281 67 16 2
1916 20 STL NL 139 495 63 155 17 15 6 65 17 40 63 .313 .369 .444 150 220 11
1917 21 STL NL 145 523 86 171 24 17 8 66 17 45 34 .327 .385 .484 169 253 17
1918 22 STL NL 115 416 51 117 19 11 5 60 8 40 43 .281 .349 .416 136 173 7
1919 23 STL NL 138 512 68 163 15 9 8 71 17 48 41 .318 .384 .430 151 220 10
1920 24 STL NL 149 589 96 218 44 20 9 94 12 15 60 50 .370 .431 .559 185 329 8
1921 25 STL NL 154 592 131 235 44 18 21 126 13 13 60 48 .397 .458 .639 191 378 15
1922 26 STL NL 154 623 141 250 46 14 42 152 17 12 65 50 .401 .459 .722 207 450 15
1923 27 STL NL 107 424 89 163 32 10 17 83 3 7 55 29 .384 .459 .627 188 266 5
1924 28 STL NL 143 536 121 227 43 14 25 94 5 12 89 32 .424 .507 .696 222 373 13
1925 29 STL NL 138 504 133 203 41 10 39 143 5 3 83 39 .403 .489 .756 210 381 16
1926 30 STL NL 134 527 96 167 34 5 11 93 3 61 39 .317 .388 .463 124 244 16
1927 31 NYG NL 155 568 133 205 32 9 26 125 9 86 38 .361 .448 .586 175 333 26
1928 32 BSN NL 140 486 99 188 42 7 21 94 5 107 41 .387 .498 .632 200 307 25
1929 33 CHC NL 156 602 156 229 47 8 39 149 2 87 65 .380 .459 .679 178 409 22
1930 34 CHC NL 42 104 15 32 5 1 2 18 0 12 12 .308 .385 .433 96 45 3
1931 35 CHC NL 100 357 64 118 37 1 16 90 1 56 23 .331 .421 .574 163 205 5
1932 36 CHC NL 19 58 10 13 2 0 1 7 0 10 4 .224 .357 .310 82 18 0
1933 37 TOT 57 92 11 30 7 0 3 23 1 0 14 7 .326 .426 .500 156 46 0
STL NL 46 83 9 27 6 0 2 21 1 12 6 .325 .423 .470 149 39 0
SLB AL 11 9 2 3 1 0 1 2 0 0 2 1 .333 .455 .778 214 7 0
1934 38 SLB AL 24 23 2 7 2 0 1 11 0 0 7 4 .304 .484 .522 151 12 0
1935 39 SLB AL 10 24 1 5 3 0 0 3 0 0 3 6 .208 .296 .333 60 8 0
1936 40 SLB AL 2 5 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 .400 .500 .400 122 2 0
1937 41 SLB AL 20 56 7 18 3 0 1 11 0 0 7 5 .321 .397 .429 108 24 0
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
23 Seasons 8173 2930 169 1584 64 679 .358 .434 .577 175 216
2259 1579 541 301 135 1038 4712

2 MVP awards (1925, 1929)
2 Triple Crowns (1922, 1925)

Rogers Hornsby was born April 27, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois. Hornsby is obviously the last name of his father, but his mother’s maiden name would not be left out either. It was Rogers. Scarred for life.

At the age of 19, Hornsby joined the St. Louis Cardinals toward the end of the 1915, and he would become a regular starting in the 1916 season. He, however, did not originally play the position he was famous for — second base. Instead, he played a majority of the time at third and would play occasionally at the other positions in the infield. Hornsby would not move to second until the 1920 season. Very productive in the “Dead Ball Era”, Hornsby would become more so during the “Live Ball Era” that began in 1921.

Previous to the 1921 season, his highest batting average was .370 (while remarkable, just wait), most doubles were 24, and most home runs were 9. Over the next five seasons, Hornsby would not hit lower than .384 and would hit .400 three times (.397 in the other season), hit fewer than 32 doubles (the other four seasons ranged from 41-46), or hit fewer than 17 home runs (including seasons of 42 and 39 — the up and downs of his home run production are staggering). In 1922, he became the only player in major league history that hit .400 with 40 HR.

He would slow down in 1926 by hitting only .317, but it wasn’t all bad as he and the Cardinals won the World Series. During the off-season, Hornsby was traded to the New York Giants for Frankie Frisch (a Hall of Famer but not as good as Hornsby) and Jimmy Ring (not good at all). Hornsby rebounded the next season, but he was traded again the next off-season to the Boston Braves. Hornsby continued to be a great player for the Braves, but just to be perplexing, the Braves traded him to the Chicago Cubs the next off-season.

After a productive 1929 campaign, Hornsby broke his ankle and would never be the same player. Released by the Cubs after the 1930 season (most of which spent on the bench), Hornsby caught on with the St. Louis Browns and spent the rest of his career as a pinch-hitter.

Off the field, Hornsby wasn’t quite so admirable. He didn’t drink or smoke, but he frequently gambled. Even worse, he admitted to being a member of the Ku Klux Clan. The great second baseman didn’t even make friends in baseball, and he supposedly threatened to expose Kenesaw Landis, baseball’s commissioner, and his stock market scandal when Landis threatened punishment for Hornsby’s gambling.

Regardless, Hornsby was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1942 with 78.2% of the vote (182 of 233).

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One Response to “Hall of Fame: Rogers Hornsby (1942)”

  1. The Common Man Says:

    It’s kind of amazing what gets excused when you can hit a curveball. I wish I could hit a curveball.

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