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Lewis Robert "Hack" Wilson (April 26, 1900November 23, 1948) was an Americanmarker center fielder in Major League Baseball from to . He is best known for his record-setting 191-RBI season of . He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Famemarker in 1979.

Biography

Wilson grew up in the Pennsylvaniamarker steel mill town of Ellwood Citymarker. Although 5'6" tall, he weighed 195 pounds, and had an 18" neck and size-6 shoes. One sports writer wrote that he was built along the lines of a beer keg, and not wholly unfamiliar with its contents.

Before Wilson started in baseball he attended school for five years before dropping out in sixth grade. Once he gave up on school Wilson went on to live off of a weekly salary of $4 at a local print shop. These events led him to seek better employment thus landing him on a semiprofessional baseball team. Not long after this he was picked up by the Blue Sox, a minor league professional team in Martinsburg, West Virginiamarker. In his first professional appearance he had the misfortune of breaking a leg. This would cause Wilson to go from playing everyday catcher to his common Major League fielding position of center field.

During his career, Wilson played for the New York Giants (1923-25), Chicago Cubs (1926-31), Brooklyn Dodgers (1932-34) and Philadelphia Phillies (1934). Wilson eclipsed the 100-RBI mark 6 times in his career.

Wilson's 1930 season is considered one of the finest in baseball history. Wilson stroked 56 home runs, drove in 191 runs, and walked 105 times, all while batting .356. The 191 RBIs he had in 1930 are a record that still stands today. (For years, record books gave the total as 190, until research in 1999 showed that an RBI credited by an official scorer to Charlie Grimm actually belonged to Wilson.) He recorded that total without hitting a grand slam.

In one game, Wilson was at bat and Bill Klem was the plate umpire. A close pitch went by and Klem called, "Strike!" Wilson said, "Strike? Bill, you sure missed that one." Klem answered, "Perhaps I did, Lewis; but if I'd had your bat, I wouldn't have."

He finished his 12 year career having played 1,348 games with a lifetime batting average of .307, 244 home runs, and 1,063 RBI. He died in 1948, possibly due to alcoholism complications. He is buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Martinsburg, West Virginiamarker. There is a street in Martinsburg called Hack Wilson Way, in honor of Wilson.

Notes

  1. "HACK WILSON", MAS Ultra, October 2001.
  2. "Historical Player Stats", MLB.com
  3. "Chalk up another RBI for Hack Wilson", Baseball Digest, October 1999.


See also



References

  • Clifton Blue Parker, Fouled Away: The Baseball Tragedy of Hack Wilson (McFarland & Company, 2000) ISBN 0786408642


External links




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