Rogers Hornsby (1942)
Rogers Hornsby started playing baseball as a child and by the time he was a teenager, he was playing semi-pro baseball. In 1914, he started playing in the minor leagues and a year later he made his first appearance in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals, playing in 18 games with them that season. In 1915, his first full season with the Cardinals, Hornsby batted .313 with 155 hits, 17 doubles, 15 triples, and 17 stolen bases in 139 games.
Early in his career, Hornsby played several infield positions but in 1920 he became the Cardinals regular second baseman. Five years later, Hornsby replaced Branch Rickey as manager and he served as player-manager for the Cardinals for the 1925 and 1926 seasons.
In December, 1926, Hornsby was traded by the Cardinals to the New York Giants. He was player-manager for part of the 1927 season, replacing an ailing John McGraw as manager. After that season, he was traded to the Boston Braves. After serving a year as player-manager with the Braves, Hornsby again found himself traded, this time to the Chicago Cubs. In 1930, his second season with the Cubs, Hornsby was injured and he played in just 42 games with them. Towards the end of the season, the Cubs made Hornsby their player-manager for the rest of the season. He continued in that role through most of the 1932 season.
In August, 1932, after playing in just 19 games with the Cubs, they released him. He signed with the Cardinals again in October, 1932, but they placed him on waivers in July, 1933, after playing 57 games with them. He was then claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Browns (the modern day Baltimore Orioles), who made Hornsby their player-manager. He continued with the Browns through 1937 but he played in only 56 games in his last four seasons.
Hornsby left major league baseball after the 1937 season to manage in the minor leagues. He also worked as a radio and TV broadcaster. In 1952, he made a comeback in the major leagues as a manager, first with the St. Louis Browns and then with the Cincinnati Reds. He continued as manager of the Reds in 1953 but he did not manage in the major leagues again after that season.
From 1958 through 1960, Hornsby was a coach for the Chicago Cubs. In 1962, his last season working in major league baseball, he was a scout and coach for the New York Mets. The following year, Hornsby died of a heart attack at the age of 66.
Hornsby won the National League MVP award in 1925 and 1929. He also won the league's Triple Crown award twice. He finished his career with the second highest batting average in major league history (Ty Cobb had the highest average). His record as a manager was 701 wins to 812 losses.
Hornsby played in over 100 games in each of 15 seasons (1915-1929, 1931). His statistics during that time include:
- 13 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 250 in 1922
- 11 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 47 in 1929
- 9 seasons with 10 or more triples, with a high of 20 in 1920
- 7 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 42 in 1922
- 5 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 152 in 1922
- 14 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .424 in 1924
Career statistics for Hornsby include:
- 2,259 games played
- 2,930 hits
- 541 doubles
- 169 triples
- 301 home runs
- 1,584 RBIs
- .358 batting average