Special Sub-Topic: Hack Attack!
|Hack started his Major League career as a member of which National League team?|
New York Giants. Hack started his career with the Giants. He was traded to the Cubs in 1925, and had his best years in Chicago. He then was dumped in Brooklyn in 1932 and faded out of baseball two seasons later.
|Babe Ruth led the American League in home runs for five straight seasons from 1926 to 1930. Hack led or tied for the National League lead during how many of those same seasons?|
Four. Hack led or tied for the lead in the National League in 1926, 1927, 1928, and 1930. Over that period, he hit a total of 177 home runs, compared to the Babe's 256 round trippers. In 1929, Hack was second to Chuck Klein of the Phillies, who out clouted him 43 to 39.
|Hack finished his career with 244 home runs. That doesn't sound like a lot by modern standards, but in fact, Hack was only the fifth player in Major League history to reach the milestone of 200 career home runs when he accomplished that in 1931. Which of these Hall of Famers was not one of the four that reached that mark before Hack?|
Jimmie Foxx. Foxx, who hit 534 home runs in his career, didn't reach 200 until 1933. Hack did it in 1931, after Gehrig reached it in 1930. Ruth had been there, done it already by 1923, on his way to 714 career home runs. Cy Williams reached the mark in 1926, and Rogers Hornsby in 1927.
|Hack had a career batting average of .307. That was better than all but which of these players who each recorded over 3000 career hits?|
Roberto Clemente. One of the knocks against Hack is that he was just a power hitter, with no finess. Granted he only played 12 years, while the others listed played 18 seasons or more. Even so, only Clemente, at .317, had a higher career average than Hack's .307. Aaron finished at .305, Rose at .303, and Mays at .302. Also, only Clemente with an average of .357 in 1967, ever had a higher single season average than Hack's .356 in 1930.
|In 1999, Major League baseball gave what to Hack Wilson?|
An additional RBI in the 1930 season. Statistitions discovered that Hack actually was responsible for an additional RBI in 1930, one that had been credited to teammate Charlie Grimm. This made Hack's Major League single season record 191 runs batted in instead of the 190 earlier acknowledged. Hack was selected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1979, 31 years after he died, and 45 years after he retired.
|Hack had a career year in 1930. In fact, it was one of the best years any baseball player ever had. He hit 56 home runs, drove in 191 runs, and had a batting average of .356. Why wasn't he selected as the National League MVP?|
There was no MVP award in 1930. The National League did not have an official MVP award in 1930. It had a Chalmers Award from 1911 to 1914. The National League itself selected an MVP from 1924 to 1929. In 1931, they turned it over to the Baseball Writers of America. The BBWA unofficially selected Bill Terry, who batted .401 in 1930 as MVP, while the Sporting News chose Hack. There were no drug tests in baseball in that era. While Hack did greet Capone at Wrigley Field one day, it was his Hall of Fame teammate Gabby Hartnett that was photographed with the crime boss.
|On January 18, 1930, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis prevented Hack and Art Shires of the crosstown rival White Sox, from doing what?|
Engaging in a professional boxing match. Landis declared that any player that engaged in professional boxing would be banned from baseball. Shires was previously tried for but acquitted of manslaughter from an incident in the Minor League. He threw a baseball at some heckling fans and struck one in the head, leading to his death. Whether Hack, who was known for engaging in fisticuffs was seriously considering a bout with Shires is unknown. Hack was known for making the rounds of many speak-easies or illegal bars during the prohibition era, but he wasn't recognized as an owner of any.
|Hack appeared in two World Series. He was with the New York Giants in 1924 and the Chicago Cubs in 1929, both in losing efforts. What is Hack most remembered for in World Series play?|
Losing two flyballs in the sun. In game four of the 1929 Series, Hack lost two fly balls in the sun during the seventh inning, which helped his opponents, the Philadelphia A's score 10 runs to overcome an 8-0 Cub lead. Hack did have 15 hits in his two World Series appearances, but 13 were singles with one double and one triple. Elmer Smith of Cleveland hit the first Series' grand slam in 1920.
|Hack played for only four more years after his great season of 1930. How many total home runs did he hit from 1931 to 1934?|
51. After hitting 56 home runs in 1930, Hack hit only 51 more in his career. Starting in 1931, he hit 13, 26, nine, and only six in 1934 in his final season.
|What did Hack later declare was responsible for destroying his career?|
Demon Rum. In his final years of life, Hack gave interviews warning about the dangers of "Demon Rum". His drinking certainly contributed to his decline as a baseball player. Major League baseball was played during daylight hours then, not just at Wrigley. Glaucoma ended the career of Hall of Fame centerfielder who was similar in build to Hack, that being Kirby Puckett of the Twins.
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