Rogers Hornsby: A Biography

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He tended to be aloof from his teammates, usually rooming by himself on the road, and often showering, dressing, and exiting the clubhouse after a game without saying a word to anyone. When the Cardinals won only 13 of their first 38 games in , Sam Breadon fired Branch Rickey as the field manager, while retaining him as the general manager, and persuaded the year-old Hornsby to take over the club as playermanager.

Just three days later, second wife Jeannette gave the Rajah a second son when William Pennington Hornsby was born in St. Under Hornsby the Cardinals went and rose to fourth place with an overall record. He also garnered his second Triple Crown, smacking 39 home runs and driving in runs to go with his second straight. Hornsby suffered from a variety of physical ailments during the season and his batting average fell to. Rogers heeded her wishes and the funeral was delayed until after the Series was over. The Series itself was a seesaw affair with Alexander striking out ten Yankees in a complete-game win in Game Two to even the games at one apiece.


Rogers Hornsby: A Biography by Charles Alexander

After St. Louis won Game Three, Babe Ruth hit a record three home runs to lead the Yankees to a win, tying the Series at two games each.

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When the Yankees rallied to win Game Five in extra innings in St. Louis, the Cardinals headed for Yankee Stadium down three games to two and having to win two consecutive games for the title. Alexander was known to have a serious drinking problem. After the game Hornsby approached him and urged him not to celebrate too much because he might be needed in Game Seven.

Game Seven turned into a classic. The Cardinals led in the bottom of the seventh, but after the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs, Hornsby signaled for Alexander to come in from the bullpen. No one knows for certain what kind of shape Alex was in, but he told Hornsby he felt fine when he reached the mound. But Lazzeri then struck out to end the threat. Alexander retired the Yankees in order in the eighth but in the ninth walked Babe Ruth with two outs. For the rest of his life Hornsby would say that making a simple tag at second base to end the World Series was the biggest thrill of his baseball career.

Hornsby received very high praise for his managerial abilities after the World Series from his players 56 and sportswriters alike.

Rogers Hornsby : a biography

Breadon later confessed that he so much wanted to get rid of Hornsby that he had been afraid he might accept the one-year offer. Hornsby rebounded on the field with the Giants in , batting. His club finished third in a tight pennant race, only two games from the pennant, but the Rajah managed to wear out his welcome in New York after only one year. Not surprisingly, his overbearing personality managed to get him cross-ways with McGraw and Giants star Freddy Lindstrom.

With the Braves off to an start, manager Jack Slattery resigned on May 23, to be replaced by the Rajah. But the team continued its inept performance even after the acquisition of George Sisler, and finished with only 50 wins against losses, ahead of only the dismal Phillies.

Late in the season, the Pirates and Paul Waner, who had been chasing the Rajah in the batting race all summer, came to Boston to play the Braves. Waner had a rough series and afterwards ran into Hornsby in the runway under the stands. On the other hand, Hornsby had a good relationship with George Sisler, both on and off the field, and lived in the same upscale residential hotel.

Hornsby told reporters that he highly respected Cubs manager Joe McCarthy and knew they would get along, and they did.

Despite persistent pain in his heel, Hornsby played in all games and led the league in runs scored with The pain in his heel probably had an impact, as he batted only. He also had surgery to remove bone spurs from his heel, which helped ease the pain temporarily. He fell victim to the stock-market crash, but the bulk of his losses on his RCA stock were on paper only. Unfortunately, the spring of brought more pain from his heel which made it difficult for Hornsby to hit with any power, run, slide, or cover any ground on defense.

After working his way into the lineup, he broke his ankle sliding in late May. Cubs owner William Wrigley had become disenchanted with Joe McCarthy and announced with four games left in the season that Hornsby would take over as player-manager for Others, like teammates Gabby Hartnett and Charlie Grimm, were not convinced. Hornsby also became entangled with the IRS for understating his income and had borrowed money from a number of his teammates to cover his losses at the race track. They were in second place in when Veeck lowered the boom, five games out of the lead.

Afterward, the Cubs spoke loudly about their feelings for the Rajah when they voted him a zero share of the World Series money. His old nemesis Sam Breadon of the Cardinals had a hole at third, thought the Rajah could still hit, and so signed him for the season. Foot and leg ailments plagued the year-old, but he did hit. By midseason, however, St. Louis was mired in fifth place and asked waivers on Hornsby, who was unable to play regularly.

Once again Hornsby found a taker, this time in the American League.

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Phil Ball, owner of the last-place St. Louis Browns, quickly signed him to a three-year contract as player-manager. For the first time Hornsby actually lasted beyond his initial contract, running the Browns until midway through the season before the axe finally fell. The team was dismal, finishing in eighth, sixth, seventh, seventh, and eighth place. Bill Werber remembered a one-sided conversation with the Rajah late in the season when the Boston Red Sox and the Browns happened to be on the same train west to open a series in St.

Midway through the long trip, Hornsby made his way into the Red Sox Pullman car and took center stage. Werber was in first full major-league season and so was all ears as Hornsby expounded on hitting and eye care. He also thought reading weakened them, as well, whether through newspapers, magazines, or books. He also stressed the importance of plenty of sleep and the avoidance of whiskey.

After Hornsby had exhausted his fund of advice, he rose and abruptly departed. For example, at 41 years of age in , he hit. Off the field, he continued be plagued by gambling debts and bad investments, which caused his farm to be foreclosed on, and a crumbling second marriage. This time there was no big-league club waiting in the wings, so Hornsby managed to land a job as player-coach with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League for He even hit a pinch-hit home run and went 2-for-3 in limited playing duty.

Under his tutelage the team rose from the cellar to fourth place, making the league playoffs. That earned him a return engagement for , but with the team languishing below. He was in Fort Worth in January when he received word of his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The Cats, buoyed by a late-season nine-game winning streak, finished third in with an record before losing to Beaumont in seven games in the league playoffs. Although Hornsby was rehired for , the Texas League shut down operations due to World War II, leaving him with a reduced salary with the Cats and renewed money problems.

Rogers Hornsby - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

He lasted nine days in Mexico, quitting when Pasquel expressed disappointment that the Blues had won a Saturday game that meant a smaller crowd on Sunday. When Hornsby got back to St. There were suspicions that Commissioner Kenesaw M. Landis had blacklisted Hornsby from the major leagues because of his inveterate playing of the horses and generally disagreeable personality.

He had a brief stint as a spring-training hitting instructor for the Chicago White Sox in and then with the Cleveland Indians the following spring. A struggling Eddie Robinson, the Indians first baseman, sought Hornsby out during spring training to ask him if he should be a guess hitter, looking for a certain pitch in a given situation. Hornsby was so good a hitter that he could just react to the pitch and hit. But even most good major-league hitters could not. He separated from his second wife, Jeanette, in , effectively ending their marriage.


His first wife refused to allow Hornsby to attend the funeral. The Yankees, liking what they saw, sent him to manage Ponce in the Puerto Rican Winter League, where his team finished third. Hornsby was again in demand and was recruited to manage the independent Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League for He was again successful, guiding the Rainiers to their first PCL championship in ten years, even though the team was picked to finish in the second division.

His son Bill was attempting to make it as a ballplayer and hooked on with Oklahoma City in the Texas League that year. After hitting only. The Rajah, who was 55, then nailed line drive after line drive deep to his opposite field, right. The two old rivals could still smash the ball. He quickly received similar three-year offers from both the St. Louis Browns and the Cardinals to manage for The Browns, owned by Bill Veeck, son of former Cubs president William Veeck, were coming off a loss, last-place finish.

The Rajah chose that job because he thought the upside was much greater than with the perennial contending Cardinals. Thus, at the age of 55, the Rajah was back in the majors, hired by the franchise that had 14 years earlier fired him from his last big-league job, and hired by the son of the man who fired him from the Cubs in Hornsby lasted only 51 games before Veeck gave him the boot. During spring training, he quickly got cross-ways with the legendary Satchel Paige, who liked to keep his own training rules. Once in a hotel elevator, Hornsby derided Garver for walking the opposing pitcher in the game that day.

The problem was that it had been Cliff Fannin, not Garver, who had done the deed. As amazing as it seems in hindsight given the debacle with the Browns, Hornsby was hired to take over the Cincinnati Reds about six weeks later. The Reds went under Hornsby to finish in sixth place.

Once Church threw a 3-and-2 curveball that the batter hit for a home run. His long-estranged second wife, Jeanette, died in , and about six months later he married Marjorie Bernice Frederick Porter, a year-old widow. In the expansion New York Mets hired Hornsby as a scout and then manager Casey Stengel brought him on board as a coach with the original Mets team that finished Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet!

IMDb More. Edit Rogers Hornsby. Showing all 30 items. Generally considered the greatest right-handed hitter of all-time. He has the highest career batting average. Manager for the St. Louis Browns , , and Cincinnati Reds Second baseman for the St. Louis Browns Won the World Series in and a pennant in as a manager. Won the World Series in with St. Baseball , game played with a bat, a ball, and gloves between two teams of nine players each on a field with four white bases laid out in a diamond i.

Teams alternate positions as batters offense and fielders defense , exchanging…. Ty Cobb , professional baseball player, considered one of the greatest offensive players in baseball history and generally regarded as the fiercest competitor in the game. Cobb took…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox!

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