I almost picked Stan Hack over Edgar Martinez (number 220) for my extra third baseman. Basically, I didn’t for two reasons:
- Stan Hack played some of his career during WWII when most of the players were off to war. In 1945 the worst year for the quality of baseball during that time Hack had his best season of his career according to Baseball War. While I did have a penalty for players who played from 1943 to 1945 it might not have been enough.
- Edgar Martinez was the best line drive player I ever saw.
The thing I like about Hack is he was a leadoff hitter. He scored 100 or more runs seven times in his career. He had a on base percentage of .394 for his career. He knew how to get on base which was great as he didn’t have much power and was an average fielder at third base. His career wasn’t very long either.
Hack actually played the Cubs when they were good. He went to four World Series with them in his 16-year career. In 1932 he was a rookie and just made an appearance in one game. In 1935 he hit seventh. The Cubs were down 3 wins to 2 in the Series. In game 6 they were tied 3-3 with the Tigers. In the top of the ninth Hack led off with a triple. It changed the Cubs winning percentage from 50% to 78%. However, none of the next three batters could bring him home. In the bottom of the ninth Goose Goslin drove in Mickey Cochrane with the winning run of the Series. What a disappoint for Hack.
Hack hit very well in his last two World Series in 1938 and 1945. Unfortunately, in both World Series most of the rest of the team didn’t hit that well. They did make it close in 1945. That is the story of Hack, so close, but so far.