Cardinals Trade Player-Manager Rogers Hornsby Shortly After Winning the 1926 World Series!

Cardinals Trade Player-Manager Rogers Hornsby Shortly After Winning the 1926 World Series!

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Cardinals Trade Player-Manager Rogers Hornsby Shortly After Winning the 1926 World Series!

“Hiring Rogers Hornsby to manage the Cubs was the worst mistake I made in all my years in baseball.” -William Veeck, Sr., Cub President (paraphrase)

“Nobody liked our manager Rogers Hornsby. There was a real p**ck. Except for his racing forms, there was no newspapers, no movies, no beer, nothing. Women and horses, that was his downfall.” – St. Louis Browns pitcher Les Tietje

In a trade of superstars that rocked the baseball world 91 years ago this month, the World Series Champion Cardinals traded their player-manager Rogers Hornsby to the Giants. This was the first in a recurring series of trades between 1926 and 1933 involving Hornsby. He was moved from the Cardinals to the Giants, to the Braves, to the Cubs, to the Cardinals again, and to the Browns, as owners sooner-or-later came to view Hornsby as a detriment to their team.

John McGraw had long coveted Hornsby and was willing to pay a steep price: star second baseman Frankie Frisch, plus journeyman pitcher Jimmy Ring. It was a trade McGraw soon came to regret. Hornsby lasted only one year in New York, while Frisch led the Cardinals to four pennants and two World Series championships. By the end of the 1927 season, Giants’ owner Charles Stoneham was fed up with Hornsby’s abrasive style, contract demands, and gambling habits, and unloaded him to the Boston Braves.

In a similar situation a few years later, Hornsby was fired as manager of the Cubs in August of 1932 while the Cubs were in the middle of the pennant race, replacing him with the jovial Charlie Grimm. The Cubs advanced to the 1932 World Series, but the players voted not to give the unpopular Hornsby a share of the World Series money.

In the featured photo below, we see a nice colorization of “Rajah” by Don Stokes. Click on the link to see our photo gallery tribute to Rogers Hornsby: http://wp.me/p7a04E-2dC

Rajah may have been abrasive and tactless, but he was one of the greatest offensive players ever. Over his 23-year career he posted a .358 life-time batting average (2nd all-time), with 2,930 hits, 1579 runs, 541 doubles, 301 home runs, 1584 RBIs, .434 on-base percentage (8th all-time), .577 slugging average (10th all-time), and batted .400 or more three times.

Hornsby was a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, a two-time Triple Crown winner, the “Decade Triple Crown” winner for the 1920’s, a seven-time National League batting champion, a two-time home run champion, and a four-time RBI champion. He led the league in doubles four times, runs five times, on-base percentage nine times, and slugging average nine times.

Hornsby’s five-year span from 1921-1925 may be the greatest five-year offensive display in baseball history. During this span, he averaged each year .401, 215 hits, 123 runs, 28 home runs, 120 RBIs, 41 doubles, .474 on-base percentage, .688 slugging average, and 370 total bases.

Rogers Hornsby was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century and All-Time teams. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1942.

 

Gary Livacari

Photo Credits: Featured photo colorized by Don Stokes:https://www.facebook.com/Don-Stokes-Old-Time-Baseball-Colorizations-923346241033508/; All others from Google search

Information: Excerpts edited from the Rogers Hornsby Wikipedia page.

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

2 Comments

  1. Larry Rockensuess · December 29, 2017 Reply

    THANKS, GARY! i NEVER KNEW MUCH ABOUT HIM EXCEPT FOR THE GREAT STATS HE PUT UP IN HIS LIFETIME. I ALWAYS WONDERED WHY HE DIDN’T STAY PUT IN ONE PLACE. TODAY, I CAN UNDERSTAND WITH PAYROLL RESTRICTIONS SIMILAR TO MY DETROIT TIGERS’ UNLOADING.

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