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Rogers Hornsby

Rogers Hornsby

Position(s):
SS, 1B, 2B, 3B, OF
Nicknames:
Rajah
Born:
April 27, 1896
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 11"
Weight:
175 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-10-1915 with SLN
Allstar Selections:
1922 TC, 1925 MVP, 1925 TC, 1929 MVP
Hall of Fame:
1942

Intro

Regarded by many as the greatest right-handed hitter of all time, Rogers Hornsby took special care of his batting eyes - refusing to read newspapers or watch movies. He hit over .400 three times, won seven batting titles, and retired with the second highest batting average in baseball history (.358). As a player/manager he won two pennants and a World Series title with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1926, that team's first championship.

Unform Number

#9 (1932), #4 (1933 Cardinals, 1936-1937), #16 (1933 Browns), #11 (1934-1935)

Quotes From

"Hitting was my dish, not fielding. These modern hitters take their eyes off the ball. I followed the ball so closely that I could see it strike the bat." — Hornsby, 1948

Minor Leages

1914: Hugo-Denison (Texas/Oklahoma League) 1915: Denison (Western Association) 1938: Baltimore Orioles (International Association) 1938: Chattanooga Lookouts (Southern League) 1940: Oklahoma City (Texas League)

Replaced By

Hornsby inserted himself into the lineup as late as the age of 41 when he was a player/manager. His last full-time playing job was as the Cubs second baseman in 1931, when he hit .331 in 100 games, with 16 homers and 90 RBI. The next season, despite having the ability to be a productive everyday player, Hornsby concentrated on managing, leading the team to the NL flag, with his replacement, Billy Herman, at second.

Best Season

Hornsby went hitless in just 24 games as he batted .424 to win another batting title. That season, the only pitcher to hold him hitless three times was Boston's Johnny Cooney, a crafty left-hander. In 1922, at the age of 26, Hornsby played nearly every day, batted .401, slugged 42 homers (rarified air that only Babe Ruth had reached to that point), and collected 250 hits (never going more than two games without a hit). He ran off a 33-game hitting streak, banged out 102 extra-base hits and 450 total bases to go along with 152 RBI and 140 runs scored. It remains one of the most productive offensive seasons in baseball history.

Factoid 1

On opening day of the 1924 season, Rogers Hornsby went two-for-five against Vic Aldridge of the Chicago Cubs. With one game on his ledger for the season, Hornsby was hitting .400. He actually improved on that mark the rest of the way, huitting .424 to win the batting title!

Transition

December 20, 1926: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the New York Giants for Frankie Frisch and Jimmy Ring; January 10, 1928: Traded by the New York Giants to the Boston Braves for Shanty Hogan and Jimmy Welsh; November 7, 1928: Traded by the Boston Braves to the Chicago Cubs for Socks Seibold, Percy Jones, Lou Legett, Freddie Maguire, Bruce Cunningham, and $200000 cash. Hornsby is the greatest player in baseball history who moved around as much as he did. Perhaps only Rickey Henderson can be considered the greatest at his position despite having bounced around to so many teams.

Strengths

Hitting the baseball.

Weaknesses

The debate as to whether Hornsby was a good fielder, or simply average, or worse, may never be settled among baseball historians. But the statistical record shows that Hornsby posted average fielding marks and had below-average range at second base.

Feats

Hornsby won the National League Triple Crown in 1925 and 1929... Hornsby collected at least one extra-base hit in 11 straight games in August of 1924 with the Cardinals. In 1928, from May 27 (first game of DH) through June 9 (first game of DH), he collected an extra-base hit in 12 consecutive games. During that streak, he clubbed eight homers and nine doubles.

Description

Hornsby had few vices, but gambling was one of them. In 1927 two separate bookies approached the commissioner's office to complain that Hornsby owed them several thousands of dollars for bets he'd placed on horses who had lost. Hornsby's first stsint as Browns' manager was probably ended becasue of his gambling problem.

The Rajah at His Best

Here's a breakdown of how well Hornsby hit against each team in the National League during the 1924 season when he hit .424: vs. Braves (36-for-75, .480) vs. Giants (34-for-78, .436) vs. Phillies (35-for-82, .427) vs. Dodgers (39-for-92, .424) vs. Reds (30-for-73, .411) vs. Pirates (24-for-61, .393) vs. Cubs (29-for-75, .387) Hornsby's personal-low mark against the Cubs would have still earned him the National League batting title.

Most Consecutive Games with an Extra-Base Hit

14 - Paul Waner, PIT NL, 6/3/1927-6/19/1927 14 - Chipper Jones, ATL NL, 6/26/2006-7/16/2006 12 - Tip O'Neill, STL AA, 8/24/1887-9/5/1887 12 - Rogers Hornsby, BOS NL, 5/27/1928(G1)-6/9/1928(G1) 11 - Rogers Hornsby, STL NL, 8/20/1924(G1)-8/27/1924 11 - Hank Greenberg, DET AL, 9/4/1940-9/14/1940 11 - Bob Bailey, MON NL, 6/22/1970(G2)-7/12/1970 11 - Jesse Barfield, TOR AL, 8/17/1985-8/27/1985 11 - Bobby Abreu, PHI NL, 5/7/2005-5/18/2005 11 - Alex Rodriguez, NY AL, 9/29/2006-4/11/2007

Notes

For a five-year stretch, Hornsby was a hitting machine. From 1921 to 1925 he batted .402 with a .690 slugging percentage and a .474 OBP. He averaged 216 hits, 123 runs, 41 doubles, 13 triples, 29 home runs, and 120 RBI per season during that span.

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Tagged:
Babe Ruth, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, Dazzy Vance, Hall of Fame, MVP, Mickey Mantle, Miller Huggins, Pie Traynor, Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals, Ted Williams, Texas-Oklahoma League, Triple Crown Batting

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