Friday, December 11, 2009
#11 Stan Hack
Stan Hack was a third basemen for the Cubs from 1932 to 1947. Known for his engaging smile as much as his athletic ability, the four-time All-Star was a stellar player, batting .301 over his career. He played in four World Series for the Cubs, batting .348 in 18 games. Hack was an excellent lead-off hitter, twice leading the Senior Circuit in stolen bases and hits. Defensively, he was the best in the game, reminding many of the legenday Pie Traynor, whose career was in the twilight as Hack was coming up. Upon his retirement at age 37, Hack was one of the most popular players to ever wear a Cubs uniform, both to fans as well as fellow ballplayers.
After his playing days, Hack managed in the minor leagues until he was hired to manage the Cubs for three unsuccessful years (1954-56). After a brief stint at the helm of the Cardinals, he returned to the minors to manage until 1966. He wound up managing a restaurant in Grand Detour, Illinois, until his death in 1979, just 9 days after his 70th birthday.
Stan Hack has one of those really cool names that sounds like a 60's western star. It just sounds as sharp as the line drives he hit. It is not out of the realm of possibility for Hack to be elected to the Hall of Fame one day. His exclusion is not surprising, but his election should not be surprising, either. Third basemen are under-represented in the Hall, and Hack really had no equal during his time. At the time of his retirement, he may have been the second-best third baseman in baseball history. However, his candidacy takes a hit given the impact of third sackers who came after him (Eddie Mathews, Mike Schmidt, Brooks Robinson, George Brett) that are in Cooperstown.
The Autograph: Hack autographs are not too common, but can be found regularly. This particular card is fairly rare to find signed by Hack, and commands a higher price in auctions.