View Poll Results: How Do We Rank Rogers Hornsby Today?

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  • I rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 10 Position Player.

    81 57.86%
  • I do NOT rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 10 Player.

    32 22.86%
  • I rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 5 All-Time Hitter .

    79 56.43%
  • I do NOT rank Rogers Hornsby a Top 5 All-Time Hitter

    25 17.86%
  • I rank Rogers Hornsby as my #1 Second Baseman.

    88 62.86%
  • I do NOT rank Rogers Hornsby as my #1 Second Baseman.

    27 19.29%
  • I STILL consider Hornsby the finest RH hitter ever.

    64 45.71%
  • I only rank Joe Morgan over Hornsby at 2B.

    6 4.29%
  • I only rank Eddie Collins over Hornsby at 2B.

    10 7.14%
  • I rank both Collins/Morgan over Hornsby at 2B.

    10 7.14%
  • Hornsby was a greater hitter than Gehrig.

    5 3.57%
  • Gehrig was a greater hitter than Hornsby.

    8 5.71%
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Thread: Rogers Hornsby Thread

  1. #376
    Quote Originally Posted by csh19792001 View Post
    How would Hornsby have done coming up in 1897 or 1905???

    He's mostly a product of a very specific (and incredibly lucky) time and place. He was the man for his place, in his time. That does not mean he would/could have hit .400 over a 5 year span in the Deadball Era, or any other era other than the incredibly over saturated era he played in. Nor could he have posted a 175 career OPS+ over 2259 games in the Honus Wagner Era, or, most likely, in any integrated era.
    Sure it's true he would not hit like that in the deadball era.
    On the other hand every hitter that hit in his time played under the same conditions, rules equipment.
    I never see that as an issue, that Ruth, Hornsby or some others that came around in the live ball era were lucky.
    Hornsby had no advantage over any in his time, that was his time, their time, all hitters.

  2. #377
    Hornsby also played only 274 games after age 33 which kept his rate stats huge. Of course it also kept him from well over 3000 hits and well over 400 HR's. I go back and forth on Hornsby and Lajoie. I wish Lajoie could have had a chance to play through the live ball era. I also do not see Eddie Collins as a threat to either man, great as he was.

  3. #378
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    Hornsby also played only 274 games after age 33 which kept his rate stats huge. Of course it also kept him from well over 3000 hits and well over 400 HR's. I go back and forth on Hornsby and Lajoie. I wish Lajoie could have had a chance to play through the live ball era. I also do not see Eddie Collins as a threat to either man, great as he was.
    Hornsby's early fizzle out is perplexing. I think that he was just so into managing, that he forgot that he could still play. Or else he had an undisclosed injury. Nonetheless, it seems odd.
    If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

    -Bob Dylan

  4. #379
    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    Hornsby's early fizzle out is perplexing. I think that he was just so into managing, that he forgot that he could still play. Or else he had an undisclosed injury. Nonetheless, it seems odd.
    Now that you mention an injury I think he might have had one to his foot. Not in position to look it up now though.

  5. #380
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    Nothing undisclosed about his injuries. He broke his ankle in 1930. He developed heel spurs in 1929 that required a surgery in the off season. Unfortunately it did not solve the problem and he would have problems with heel spurs for the rest of his playing days.

  6. #381
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Nothing undisclosed about his injuries. He broke his ankle in 1930. He developed heel spurs in 1929 that required a surgery in the off season. Unfortunately it did not solve the problem and he would have problems with heel spurs for the rest of his playing days.
    Thanks ubi. I'm pretty happy I pulled that out of the back of my brain.

  7. #382
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    From Cardinals Journal, by John Snyder, pages 195-198:

    1923

    March 6 - The Cardinals announce that they will use uniform numbers in 1923. At the time, no club in the majors placed numbers on uniforms, although the numerals on jerseys had been in use by leading college football teams for many years. Previously, baseball clubs had numbers for each player on the scorecards and posted the corresponding number on the scoreboard as each player came to bat to help fans identify the players, and in some cases, the full batting order was placed on the scoreboards. The numbers on the 1923 Cardinals' uniforms were about six inches high on the left sleeve, but were so small that it was almost impossible to read them from the stands. The experiment was dropped before the season was over, in part because concessionaires complained about the drop in scorecard sales. The first club to use permanent numbers on the backs of uniforms was the Yankees in 1929. By 1932, all clubs in the majors affixed numbers to their uniforms.

    May 8 - Rogers Hornsby tears muscles in his knee rounding second base in the fifth inning of an 11-3 win over the Phillies in Philadelphia.

    After playing in every game in both 1921 and 1922, Hornsby was limited to 107 games in 1923 because of the knee injury and other incidents. He tried playing two weeks later but eventually spent two weeks in a cast. When he returned June 14, he homered in a 3-2 victory over the Braves, but quickly left the lineup again. Hornsby also missed time because of the illness of his mother and personal problems, including a divorce. He was suspended by Branch Rickey for five games and $500 when Hornsby left the club feigning to be ill despite a doctor's diagnosis to the contrary. Rickey and Hornsby actually duked it out in the clubhouse one day. Despite all of the problems, Hornsby led the NL in batting average (.384), on-base percentage (.459), and slugging percentage (.627) and hit 17 homers. The Cardinals brass decided they no longer required his services, however, and shopped Hornsby all winter. The Giants, Cubs, Braves, and Dodgers all made lucrative offers, but Rickey and Sam Breadon pulled him off the market (see February 21, 1924).


    July 13 - Rogers Hornsby collects five hits, including a triple and a double, in five at-bats during a 10-6 victory over the Braves in Boston.

    September 3 - Rogers Hornsby homers off Vic Keen in the eighth inning to lift the Cardinals to a 1-0 win over the Cubs in the first game of a doubleheader in Chicago. Johnny Stuart pitched the shutout.

    Pages 199-202:

    1924

    February 21 - Branch Rickey and Rogers Hornsby bury the hatchet after feuding for much of the 1923 season, and after Rickey spent much of the 1923-24 offseason trying to trade his star second baseman. In a meeting with St. Louis reporters, Hornsby said, "There is no longer any misunderstanding between us. I want to have the best year in baseball I ever had and I want the Cardinals to have the best year it ever had."

    Hornsby responded with one of the greatest seasons of any player in big-league history. He set a modern major league record for highest batting average in a single season by hitting .424. He led the NL in on-base percentage (.507), slugging percentage (.696), runs (121), hits (227), doubles (43), total bases (373), and walks (89). Hornsby's 25 homers were second in the league and he drove in 94 runs. It was not a good year for the ballclub, however. The progress the Cardinals made by competing for the pennant in 1921 and 1922 looked like a mirage when the team fell into sixth place with a record of 65-89.

    August 20 - The Cardinals take a doubleheader from the Phillies at Sportsman's Park by scores of 3-1 and 13-10. Wattie Holm collected seven hits in ten at-bats and Rogers Hornsby was 6 for 7, including two doubles.

    August 21 - Rogers Hornsby collects seven hits, including two homers, in seven at-bats during a doubleheader, but the Cardinals lose twice, 6-4 and 12-1 to the Giants. In consecutive doubleheaders, Hornsby picked up 13 hits in 14 at-bats.

    August 22 - Rogers Hornsby runs his streak of hits in consecutive at-bats to nine with a homer in his first at-bat of a 6-4 loss to the Giants at Sportsman's Park. The hit also gave Hornsby 14 hits in a span of 15 at-bats over five games.

    August 24 - The Cardinals swamp the Dodgers 7-6 and 17-0 in a doubleheader at Sportsman's Park. In the opener, Rogers Hornsby hit a walk-off homer in the ninth. In the second tilt, the Cards collected 25 hits. Verne Clemons was 5 for 5 on a double and four singles.

    August 26 - Rogers Hornsby collects three doubles and a homer, but the Cardinals lose 7-4 to the Dodgers at Sportsman's Park.

    From August 20 through 29, Hornsby had an incredible streak of 34 hits in 51 at-bats. Among the 34 hits were seven homers, two triples, and seven doubles, a total of 66 total bases. The streak ended when Hornsby wrenched his back in the fourth inning of a 12-5 win over the Cubs in Chicago that put him out of the lineup for nine days.
    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean

    "He was a natural athlete. He was also one of the strongest men I'd ever met. He could tear telephone books in half all day long. He never used a knife to cut an apple; he simply split it in two with his fingers. And he was fast. Dave could outrun anyone on our team. . . . The Lord had given freely to Dave." Willie Stargell on Dave Parker

  8. #383
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    From Cardinals Journal, by John Snyder, pages 204-206:

    1925

    April 18 - The Cardinals thrash the Cubs 20-5 in Chicago. Les Bell tied a club record for most extra base hits in a game with four on two homers and two doubles. Bell also singled for a 5-for-6 day. Rogers Hornsby tied a modern club mark with five runs scored following two doubles, a single and two walks in five plate appearances before being taken out of the game in the eighth inning. Jim Bottomley, Ray Blades, and Taylor Douthit also homered for the Cardinals.

    Hornsby won his sixth consecutive National League batting title in 1925 by hitting .403. He led the NL in on-base percentage and slugging percentage for the sixth straight year. In 1925, his on-base percentage was .489 and his slugging percentage was .756, a club record for a season. In addition, Hornsby led the league in home runs (39), total bases (381), and RBIs (143), scored 133 runs, and collected 41 doubles. From 1921 through 1925, Hornsby hit .402. He is the only player in major league history to post a batting average of .400 or better over five consecutive seasons. Bottomley was the runner-up in the batting race with a .367 average and led the league in hits (227) and doubles (44). He hit 21 homers and drove in 128 runs. Blades hit .342 with 12 homers.

    May 30 - Cardinals hurlers Pea Ridge Day and Eddie Dyer allow a modern major league record eight triples during a 15-5 loss to the Pirates in the first game of a doubleheader at Forbes Field. Pittsburgh also won the other game 4-1.

    Following the doubleheader loss, Sam Breadon relieved Branch Rickey of his duties as manager and replaced him with Rogers Hornsby. Rickey retained his position as vice president, however, and continued to run the front office operation. "We decided Rickey was trying to do too much," Breadon said. "He was trying to manage the team and look after the vast organization of a major league club." Dwindling attendance along with the club's 13-25 record was also a heavy influence on the decision. Rickey wanted to remain as manager, and peevishly told Breadon that he wanted to sell his stock in the club if he couldn't remain as manager.

    Hornsby was only 29 years old, but it was an era in which star players managed clubs. At the same time, Ty Cobb managed the Tigers, George Sisler the Browns, Tris Speaker the Indians, Eddie Collins the White Sox, and Dave Bancroft the Braves. Hornsby was reluctant to take the Cardinals job, but relented when Breadon agreed to help him purchase stock that Rickey was putting up for sale. The stock transfer gave Hornsby a 12.5 percent interest in the club. Hornsby scrapped Rickey's platoon system and many of his strategy sessions. The club won 15 of their first 19 games under Hornsby and were 64-51 under his simplified direction over the remainder of the 1925 season.


    July 28 - Four days after John Scopes is convicted and fined $100 for teaching evolution following the "Monkey Trial" in Tennessee, Rogers Hornsby hits a grand slam in the eighth inning off Burleigh Grimes, but the Cardinals lose 12-9 to the Dodgers in Brooklyn.
    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean

    "He was a natural athlete. He was also one of the strongest men I'd ever met. He could tear telephone books in half all day long. He never used a knife to cut an apple; he simply split it in two with his fingers. And he was fast. Dave could outrun anyone on our team. . . . The Lord had given freely to Dave." Willie Stargell on Dave Parker

  9. #384
    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky5 View Post
    Hornsby also played only 274 games after age 33 which kept his rate stats huge. Of course it also kept him from well over 3000 hits and well over 400 HR's. I go back and forth on Hornsby and Lajoie. I wish Lajoie could have had a chance to play through the live ball era.
    In his 2000 Historical Abstract, Bill James projected Sam Crawford's numbers into the 1919-1937 timeframe. (Which is almost exactly Hornsby's extreme run scoring environment). From everthing I've read, Lajoie hit and was built much like Sam Crawford, and I see them essentially as equals as hitters. Crawford drove in 1,600 runs in a park with 97 home runs. From 1899-1902 he played in a park that was 387LF-384LCF-414CF-426RCF-340RF. Then Bennett Park 1903-1911, which was a tomb, and Navin Field 1912-1917 (370 down the RF line, 470 to center. This was, of course, all total deadball.

    Lajoie and Crawford are both vastly underrated as hitters because of when they played. Guys whose primes came from 1920-1939 are overrated both by rep and vis-a-vis the stats we (and everyone) cite everyday.


  10. #385
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    Wow Chris you're agenda driven posts need to stop.

    So from 1920-1939 players are WAY over-rated, but not before or after? Just that one magical time period huh? Get real bro. Cobb's decline came during that period and he earned every ounce of it. As did everyone else. Get off the kick. Your kick has no consistencies. All over the joint. Does it depend on mood? Number of beers consumed? Once and for all, how bout a solid opinion.
    Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 07-12-2014 at 08:00 PM.
    "You guys are my family. I am very grateful I have been led to this beautiful place and all the warm members who have been so kind to me. I feel I have made a lot of friends, and learned tons about baseball. To me, Fever is too good to be true, and don't know how I'd fill the vacuum if it ever went away. Thanks to so many for a reason to be happy every day. Just can't repay you guys." - Bill Burgess

  11. #386
    Quote Originally Posted by Sultan_1895-1948 View Post
    Wow Chris you're agenda driven posts need to stop.

    Once and for all, how bout a solid opinion.
    Power hitters that could hit a deadball 400 feet but never got to face the liveball conditions are underrated vis-a-vis the hitting stats we currently throw around. Guys like Wagner, Lajoie, Crawford. It was a "magical" period in that the game changed irrevocably and drastically in favor of hitters, especially sluggers. And if "magical" means the greatest boon in offensive history and the birth of the slugger, then I guess the 1920-~1940 period was magical indeed.

    Agenda? Does Bill James have an "agenda" in his analysis of Sam Crawford playing in the Hornsby Era?

    How is it "all over the board" to say that players have gotten consistently better, and that the belief that 80% of the greatest ever were born before 1921 is a facile and ludicrous position? Or that we've had one top 25 player to debut in the past 40 years (Bonds), but over 10 guys who were born before 1900?

  12. #387
    Quote Originally Posted by brett View Post
    From 1947 to 1960 the average black player in the majors produced a 128 OPS+ and 137% of the WAR based wins of the league average. This is with integration levels approaching the population distrubution by the end. Half of the top 50 players since integration have been black despite being only ~10% of the population. Maybe it wasn't Charlestons or Gibson or Lloyd, but there certainly was a black player playing somewhere in the 20s and 30s to match every great white player during that period. So I'll take the ones who actually dominated the NeLeagues. Maybe someone else would have risen to the top given the differences in the game, but I absolutely believe that there was a black player to match Hornsby, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Wagner, Cobb etc. (Ruth? who knows), but if half the top players since integration have been black then there is EVERY REASON to believe that there was a back equivalent talent for each great white player more or less.
    Is this also "agenda driven"? Deluded thinking?

    Or is it reality??? And.....the people taking the positions I just listed about the drastic overepresentation of old time white only ballplayers among the greatest ever are the deluded ones?
    Last edited by csh19792001; 07-13-2014 at 11:24 AM.

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