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Hack Wilson

Outfielder
Born: April 26, 1900(1900-04-26)
Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
Died: November 23, 1948 (aged 48)
Baltimore, Maryland
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 29, 1923 for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
August 25, 1934 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Batting average     .307
Home runs     244
Runs batted in     1063
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • National League pennant: 1924, 1929
  • Single-season RBI record holder (191)
  • National League home run champion: 1926-1928, 1930
  • National League RBI champion: 1929, 1930
  • 2-time National League base on balls leader
  • 4 seasons with 30+ home runs
  • 6 seasons with 100+ RBIs
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     1979
Election Method     Veteran's Committee

Lewis Robert "Hack" Wilson (April 26, 1900 – November 23, 1948) was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball from 1923 to 1934. He is best known for his record-setting 191-RBI season of 1930. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Contents

Biography

Wilson grew up in the Pennsylvania steel mill town of Ellwood City. Although 5'6" tall, he weighed 195 pounds, and had an 18" neck and size-6 shoes. One sports writer wrote that he was built along the lines of a beer keg, and not wholly unfamiliar with its contents.

Before Wilson started in baseball he attended school for five years before dropping out in sixth grade. Once he gave up on school Wilson went on to live off of a weekly salary of $4 at a local print shop. These events led him to seek better employment thus landing him on a semiprofessional baseball team. Not long after this he was picked up by the Blue Sox, a minor league professional team in Martinsburg, West Virginia. In his first professional appearance he had the misfortune of breaking a leg. This would cause Wilson to go from playing everyday catcher to his common Major League fielding position of center field.[1]

During his career, Wilson played for the New York Giants (1923-25), Chicago Cubs (1926-31), Brooklyn Dodgers (1932-34) and Philadelphia Phillies (1934).[2] Wilson eclipsed the 100-RBI mark 6 times in his career.

Wilson's 1930 season is considered one of the finest in baseball history. Wilson stroked 56 home runs, drove in 191 runs, and walked 105 times, all while batting .356. The 191 RBIs he had in 1930 are a record that still stands today. (For years, record books gave the total as 190, until research in 1999 showed that an RBI credited by an official scorer to Charlie Grimm actually belonged to Wilson.)[3] He recorded that total without hitting a grand slam.

In one game, Wilson was at bat and Bill Klem was the plate umpire. A close pitch went by and Klem called, "Strike!" Wilson said, "Strike? Bill, you sure missed that one." Klem answered, "Perhaps I did, Lewis; but if I'd had your bat, I wouldn't have."

He finished his 12 year career having played 1,348 games with a lifetime batting average of .307, 244 home runs, and 1,063 RBI. He died in 1948, possibly due to alcoholism complications. He is buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Martinsburg, West Virginia. There is a street in Martinsburg called Hack Wilson Way, in honor of Wilson.

Notes

  1. ^ "HACK WILSON", MAS Ultra, October 2001.
  2. ^ "Historical Player Stats", MLB.com
  3. ^ "Chalk up another RBI for Hack Wilson", Baseball Digest, October 1999.

See also

References

HACK WILSON, MAS Ultra, October 2001, http://proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,uid,url&db=f5h&AN=5392371&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live  

Historical Player Stats, http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/historical/individual_stats_player.jsp?c_id=mlb&playerID=124412, retrieved 2009-03-24  

Chalk up another RBI for Hack Wilson, MAS Ultra, October 1999, http://proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,cookie,uid,url&db=f5h&AN=2215660&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live  

  • Clifton Blue Parker, Fouled Away: The Baseball Tragedy of Hack Wilson (McFarland & Company, 2000) ISBN 0786408642

External links

Preceded by
Rogers Hornsby
National League Home Run Champion
1926-1928
(1927 with Cy Williams
1928 with Jim Bottomley)
Succeeded by
Chuck Klein
Preceded by
Jim Bottomley
National League RBI Champion
1929-1930
Succeeded by
Chuck Klein
Preceded by
Chuck Klein
National League Home Run Champion
1930
Succeeded by
Chuck Klein







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