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Chuck Klein

Chuck Klein

Position(s):
OF, 1B
Born:
October 7, 1904
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
6'
Weight:
185 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-30-1928 with PHI
Allstar Selections:
1932 MVP, 1933 TC
Hall of Fame:
1980

Intro

Virtually forgotten by most baseball fans, Chuck Klein was a line-drive pull-hitter who took great advantage of his years in Philadelphia's Baker Bowl, which had favorable (to say the least) dimensions for a left-handed hitter. He won a batting title, a triple crown, and blasted four home runs in one game, but Klein rarely played for winning teams. His phenomenal success in his home park made some experts question his talent, but he ultimately overcame that stigma when he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980.

Unform Number

#3 (1932-1933, 1942), #6 (1934), #4 (1935-1936 Cubs), #32 (1936 Phillies), #36 (1936-1937 Phillies), #1 (1938), #26 (1939 Phillies, 1944), #14 (1939 Pirates), #29 (1940-1941), #8 (1943)

Replaced By

Stan Benjamin

Best Season

It's tempting to choose 1930 when Klein rapped out 250 hits and hit .386, or 1929 when he piled up 145 RBI, or 1931 when he scored 121 runs and had double-figures in doubles, triples and homers, or 1932 when he had 50 doubles, 38 homers and 20 steals and led the NL in slugging. But we'll take 1933, when he paced the league in batting (.368), OBP (.422) and slugging (.602), while also winning the triple crown (28 homers and 128 RBI). Klein led the loop with 44 doubles, 223 hits, 365 total bases and 79 extra-base hits.

Factoid 1

The Philadelphia Phillies had a .364 winning percentage in the seasons Klein was on the team, finishing a cumulative 614 games out of first place.

Transition

November 21, 1933: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs for Ted Kleinhans, Mark Koenig, Harvey Hendrick, and $65,000 cash; May 21, 1936: Traded by the Chicago Cubs with Fabian Kowalik to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ethan Allen and Curt Davis. Klein was involved in one of the biggest transactions of his time, when he was dealt to the Chicago Cubs in November of 1932 for $65,000 and three players. At the time, some baseball experts suggested that deals involving so much money should be outlawed, claiming that all the great players would be gobbled up by the rich teams. Some things never change.

Strengths

Hitting for extra-base power.

Weaknesses

He was like a comet that streaked across the sky.

Feats

Clubbed four homers in one game, July 10, 1936; collected at least 200 hits in five straight season, 1929-1933; led the NL in total bases in four consecutive seasons, 1930-1933; hit five homers in a three-game stretch twice, and hit six in four games in 1929.

Notes

Was the Most Valuable Player of the National League in 1932; All-Star in 1933 and 1934. Klein was second in NL MVP voting in both 1931 and 1933, but since there was no award in 1930, he missed out on a possible second MVP honor... Klein is one of the few players to lead his league in both home runs and stolen bases during his career. He led the NL in steals in 1932, and in homers in 1933.

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Tagged:
1980 Hall of Fame, All Star, Chicago Cubs, Chuck Klein, NL MVP 1932, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates

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