Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Rogers Hornsby

Nicknamed "The Rajah", Rogers Hornsby played 23 seasons in the Major Leagues, during which time he established himself as one of the greatest hitters in the game's history. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1915–1926, 1933), New York Giants (1927), Boston Braves (1928), Chicago Cubs (1929–1932), and St. Louis Browns (1933–1937). Hornsby would finish his career with 2,930 hits, 301 home runs, and a .358 batting average. The winner of 2 Triple Crowns, Hornsby would bat .400 or more 3 times during his career. He was named the National League MVP twice, and was a member of one World Series championship team. After retiring as a player, he managed the Browns in 1952 and the Cincinnati Reds from 1952 to 1953. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1942.

I completed this sketch card in November 2012.

Ten random facts about Rogers Hornsby:

  • His first Major League hit came on September 13, 1915 against fellow Hall of Famer Rube Marquard.
  • Hornsby's career batting average of .358 is second to only Ty Cobb in MLB history.
  • He is the only player to hit 40 home runs and bat .400 in the same year (1922).
  • On September 13, 1931, Hornsby became the first big leaguer to connect for an extra-inning, pinch-hit grand slam, as his Cubs defeated the Braves in 11 innings, 11-7. 
  • He became a scout and third base coach for the expansion New York Mets in 1962, one year before his death.
  • Hornsby led the National League in slugging percentage nine times, a record that still stands.
  • An intense competitor, Hornsby was known as being difficult to get along with and was not well-liked by his fellow players. 
  • Hornsby was an avid gambler and would end up losing much of his earnings over the course of his lifetime.
  • He won seven batting titles in total, a feat tied or exceeded by only five players (Cobb, Tony Gwynn, Honus Wagner, Rod Carew, and Stan Musial). 
  • He hit more home runs, drove in more runs, and had a higher batting average than any other National League player during the 1920s, which makes him one of 4 players in baseball history (along with Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, and Albert Pujols) to win a decade "triple crown".

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