There was only one player that was inducted into the Hall of Fame from 1940 to 1944 in honor of those that had to put their careers on hold and go abroad to defend the United States in World War II. Who was the one player worthy enough of being inducted during this time? Second baseman Rogers Hornsby, one of the most prolific right-handed hitters in MLB history. During his 23 seasons in Major League Baseball, the majority of his time was spent playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. His statistics are pretty eye-popping:
.358 Average, 1,579 Runs, 2,930 Hits, 301 Home Runs, 1,318 RBI, 135 Stolen Bases.
During his career, Hornsby won seven batting titles; six of these titles were won consecutively, including him eclipsing the .400 mark on three different occasions. He his .424 in 1924, which is a National League record for modern day MLB players, and his career .358 average is first all-time in the NL. Hornsby was accustomed to breaking new ground in his professional career, becoming the first NL player to hit over 300 home runs and was the player-manager during the Cardinals first World Championship in 1926.
From 1924 to 1929, Hornsby was in the top-20 for MVP voting, winning the award in both 1925 and 1929. He was also a two-time Triple Crown winner in 1922 and 1925. A fun fact about the Cardinals second baseman is that on September 13, 1931, he became the first player to hit a pinch-hit grand slam in extra innings.
Since I didn’t have the pleasure of watching Hornsby during the prime of his career, I can only read about him. I’ve used this quote many times already, but I’m going to use it again because it’s one of my favorites. It’s also fitting since we only have about a week of baseball left and it’s getting colder and colder each day:
“People ask me what I do in the winter when there is no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Amen, good sir. Amen.
I want to welcome Matt to MMO and look forward to bringing you his unique and insightful baseball posts. I’ve enjoyed reading his material and I am happy to now have him featured on our site as we continue to add more broad-based baseball content to MMO. You can follow Matt on his site On The Way Home, which is part of the MLBlogs Network. – JD