Stanley Camfield Hack
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 170 lb.
- High School Sacramento High School
- Debut April 12, 1932
- Final Game September 24, 1947
- Born December 6, 1909 in Sacramento, CA USA
- Died December 15, 1979 in Dixon, IL USA
Born in 1909, he worked in a bank and played semi-pro ball part-time until he caught on with the Sacramento Solons. He hit .352 at Sacramento in 1931, which drew the attention of Bill Veeck Sr. of the Cubs, who signed him.
He became a regular in 1934, and hit .300 six times after that. He scored over 100 runs in a season seven times. His best year as a hitter was probably 1941, when he hit .317 with 99 walks (.417 OBP) and 33 doubles in a league where the average batting average and on-base percentage were only .258 and .326.
He broke in during the 1932 season, on a team that was being managed by Rogers Hornsby (although Hornsby was to be replaced shortly as manager). The Cubs won the pennant. Hack and second baseman Billy Herman were the same age, 22. Hack and Herman were to play in the same infield for over nine years together. Other teammates on the 1932 Cubs included Gabby Hartnett and Kiki Cuyler. Hartnett, Cuyler, and Herman were also with Hack on the 1935 Cubs team that won the pennant.
Hack temporarily retired in 1943, partly because he didn't like manager Jimmy Wilson. By 1945, Hack was 35 years old, but he had another good season as the Cubs again won the pennant. He hit .323 with 99 walks, and scored 110 runs. In the World Series, he had eleven hits and four walks in seven games.
Nobody stole a lot of bases in those days, when the next batter was fairly likely to hit a single, but in the five-year period from 1936-1940, Hack was first in the league in stolen bases twice, and second the other three years. A good fielder, he several times led the league in putouts, assists, or fielding percentage.
Stan never did all that well in Hall of Fame voting, perhaps because voters were in those days tilted toward high-average hitters, and Stan's .301 wasn't as high as they were expecting from a singles and doubles hitter. In addition, third basemen were not well respected, and few from the 1900-1950 era made it into the Hall. He had 2193 hits, which wasn't close to the magic 3000, and 1239 runs scored, which wasn't close enough to the magic 1500.
On the other hand, when Bill James took a look at Hack, he ranked him ahead of Pie Traynor, who many people had seen as the top third baseman of the 1900-1950 era, mainly because of his .320 batting average. Hack, by the way, is listed by the similarity scores method as one of the ten most similar players to Traynor - and is one of only two players on Traynor's list of ten who is not in the Hall of Fame. Hack's own list of the most similar players includes two Hall of Fame players, Jimmy Collins and George Kell.
After his playing career, Hack managed the Los Angeles Angels from 1951 to 1953, then managed three seasons with the Cubs. His first year, 1954, was the year that the first two black players on the Cubs, Ernie Banks and Gene Baker, became the regular shortstop and second baseman on the team. He was a St. Louis Cardinals coach in 1957 and 1958, managing the team for ten games in 1958 after Fred Hutchinson was fired. He returned to the Cubs as a coach during the 1965 season.
- 5-time NL All-Star (1938, 1939, 1941, 1943 & 1945)
- 2-time NL Hits Leader (1940 & 1941)
- 2-time NL Singles Leader (1941 & 1945)
- 2-time NL Stolen Bases Leader (1938 & 1939)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 7 (1936-1941 & 1945)
|Chicago Cubs Manager
|St. Louis Cardinals Manager
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
- Eric Hanauer: "Stan Hack", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 130-134. ISBN 978-1-933599-76-2