Gabby Hartnett

Charles Leo "Gabby" Hartnett (December 20, 1900 – December 20, 1972), nicknamed "Old Tomato Face"[1], was an American professional baseball player and manager.[2] He played almost his entire career in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Chicago Cubs, from 1922 to 1940. He spent the final season of his career as a player-coach for the New York Giants in 1941. After his playing career, he continued his involvement in baseball as a coach and as a minor league manager.

Hartnett was an all-around player, performing well both offensively and defensively.[3] Known for his strong and accurate throwing arm, he routinely led the National League's catchers in caught stealing percentage and was the first major league catcher to hit more than 20 home runs in a season.[3] During the course of his career, he took part of some of the most memorable events in Major League Baseball history including; Babe Ruth's Called Shot during the 1932 World Series, Carl Hubbell's strike-out performance in the 1934 All-Star Game and Dizzy Dean's career-altering injury during the 1937 All-Star Game.[1] But the greatest moment of Hartnett's career came with one week left in the 1938 season, when he hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to put the Cubs in first place.[1] The event, which occurred as darkness descended onto Wrigley Field, became immortalized as the Homer in the Gloamin'.[1]

Prior to Johnny Bench, Hartnett was considered the greatest catcher in the history of the National League.[4][5] A six-time All-Star, he appeared in four World Series during his playing career. At the time of his retirement, Hartnett held the career records for catchers in home runs, runs batted in, hits, doubles and in most games played as a catcher. Hartnett was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.[6]

Gabby Hartnett
GabbyHartnettGoudeycard
Catcher / Manager
Born: December 20, 1900
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Died: December 20, 1972 (aged 72)
Park Ridge, Illinois
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 12, 1922, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
September 24, 1941, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average.297
Home runs236
Runs batted in1,179
Managerial record203–176
Winning %.536
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1955
Vote77.69% (twelfth ballot)

Life and career

Early life

Hartnett was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island as the oldest of 14 children.[4] He began his professional baseball career at the age of 20 with the Worcester Boosters of the Eastern League in 1921.[7] New York Giants manager John McGraw sent scout Jesse Burkett to appraise Hartnett's talent as a player.[8] Burkett reported back to McGraw that Hartnett's hands were too small for a major league catcher.[8] The Giants' loss became the Chicago Cubs' gain.

Professional career

Hartnett joined the Cubs in 1922, serving as a backup catcher to Bob O'Farrell.[2] He was given his ironic nickname of "Gabby" as a rookie due to his shy, reticent nature.[9] On July 22, O'Farrell suffered a fractured skull during a game against the Boston Braves and Hartnett took over as the Cubs starting catcher, posting a .299 batting average along with 16 home runs and 67 runs batted in.[2][10] After the retirement of catcher Bill Killefer, Hartnett became the favorite catcher of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander and caught Alexander's 300th career win on September 20, 1924.[11] Hartnett played well enough during O'Farrell's absence that the Cubs decided to keep him as their starting catcher, trading O'Farrell to the St. Louis Cardinals in May 1925.[12][13]

Rise to stardom

Gabby Hartnett 1925.jpeg
Hartnett, circa 1925

Hartnett hit 24 home runs in 1925, breaking the single-season home run record for catchers set by Jack Clements in 1893.[14] He finished second overall in the National League behind the 39 home runs hit by Rogers Hornsby.[15] Although he led National League catchers in errors, he also led in range factor and in putouts, while his strong throwing arm helped him lead the league in assists and caught stealing percentage.[16] Leo Durocher, who played against Hartnett and was a National League manager during Johnny Bench's career, stated that the two catchers had similarly strong throwing arms.[17] During the major league baseball winter meetings in December 1925, it was rumored that Hartnett might be traded to the New York Giants for catcher Frank Snyder and outfielder Irish Meusel; however, Cubs president Bill Veeck, Sr., squelched the rumors saying that Hartnett would not be traded for anybody.[18]

The young catcher had a disappointing year in 1926 as his batting average dropped to .275 with only 41 runs batted in. His offensive statistics rebounded in 1927, producing a .294 batting average with 10 home runs and 80 runs batted in. Although he led the league's catchers in putouts, assists and in baserunners caught stealing, his inexperience showed as he also led the league in errors and in passed balls. He finished tenth in the balloting for the 1927 National League Most Valuable Player Award.[19]

Career prime

In 1928, Hartnett hit above .300 for the first time, posting a .302 batting average with 14 home runs.[2] He also surpassed Jack Clements' major league record of 72 career home runs by a catcher.[14] Hartnett also led National League catchers in assists, caught stealing percentage and in fielding percentage.[20] As he matured as a player, he became more disciplined on the field and committed fewer errors.[3] He threw the baseball around the infield in a fearless manner, throwing out baserunners with a high degree of accuracy. Between 1928 and 1938, Hartnett led the league's catchers in fielding percentage seven times.[3]

In 1929, a mysterious arm ailment limited him to one game behind the plate and 24 games as a pinch hitter as the Cubs won the National League pennant.[21] Hartnett struck out in all three of his at bats in the 1929 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics.[9][22] He rebounded with his best season in 1930, hitting for a .339 batting average with career highs of 122 runs batted in, a .630 slugging percentage and 37 home runs, breaking his own single-season home run record for catchers.[2][14] He led all National League catchers in putouts, assists, fielding percentage and in baserunners caught stealing.[23] His single-season home run record for catchers stood for 23 years, until Roy Campanella hit 40 home runs in 1953.[24]

During an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox on September 9, 1931, Hartnett was photographed while signing an autograph for gangster Al Capone.[25] After the photograph was published in newspapers across the United States, Hartnett received a telegram from Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis instructing him not to have his photograph taken with Capone in the future.[25] Hartnett replied with a telegram to the Commissioner whimsically stating, "OK, but if you don't want me to have my picture taken with Al Capone, you tell him."[25]

In 1932, Hartnett guided the Cubs' pitching staff to the lowest team earned run average in the league, as the Cubs clinched the National League pennant by 4 games over the Pittsburgh Pirates.[26] Hartnett was the Cubs' catcher on October 1, in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series against the New York Yankees when Babe Ruth hit his debated "called shot."[17] Although he hit for a .313 batting average with 1 home run, the Yankees won the series in a four-game sweep.[27]

In 1933, Hartnett was selected to be a reserve catcher for the National League team in the inaugural Major League Baseball All-Star Game held on July 6, 1933.[28] It was the first of six consecutive All-Star game selections for Hartnett.[2] At the mid-season point of the 1934 season, Hartnett was hitting for a .336 batting average with 13 home runs to earn the starting catcher's role for the National League team in the 1934 All-Star Game.[29][30] Hartnett was calling the pitches for Carl Hubbell in the 1934 All-Star Game when the Giants pitcher set a record by striking out future Hall of Fame members Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin in succession.[17] He ended the 1934 season with another strong offensive performance, hitting for a .299 batting average with 22 home runs and 90 runs batted in.[2] He dominated the defensive statistics, leading the league's catchers in assists, putouts, baserunners caught stealing, caught stealing percentage, range factor and in fielding percentage.[31]

Hartnett had another impressive season in 1935 when he produced a .344 batting average, third-highest in the league and led the league's catchers in assists, double plays, and fielding percentage.[2][32] He also led the Cubs pitching staff to the lowest earned run average in the league as they won the National League pennant by 4 games over the St. Louis Cardinals.[33] For his performance, Hartnett was named the recipient of the 1935 National League Most Valuable Player Award.[34] The Cubs lost to the Detroit Tigers led by Mickey Cochrane in the 1935 World Series.[35]

The Cubs fell to third place in 1936, as Hartnett had a sub-standard year for him, hitting only 7 home runs with 64 runs batted in, although he still hit above .300 with a .307 average, and earned his fourth consecutive All-Star selection.[9][36] Defensively, he led the league's catchers in fielding percentage, and his pitch-calling skills helped the Cubs pitching staff lead the league with 18 shutouts.[37] In the 1937 All-Star Game, pitcher Dizzy Dean kept shaking off Hartnett's signs for a curve ball resulting in a hit by Joe DiMaggio, a home run by Lou Gehrig and finally, a line drive off the bat of Earl Averill that struck Dean on his toe.[38] Dean had been one of the preeminent pitchers in the National League until the injury to his toe eventually led to the end of his baseball playing career.[17] Hartnett ended the 1937 season with a career-high .354 batting average and finished second to Joe Medwick in voting for the National League Most Valuable Player Award.[2][39] His .354 batting average in 1937 was the highest batting average by a major league catcher for 60 years until 1997, when Mike Piazza posted a .362 average.[40][41]

Homer in the Gloamin'

On July 20, 1938, Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley named the 37-year-old Hartnett as the team's player-manager, replacing Charlie Grimm.[42] When Hartnett took over as manager, the Cubs had been in third place, six games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates led by Pie Traynor.[43] By September 27, with one week left in the season, the Cubs had battled back to within a game and a half game of the Pirates in the National League standings as the two teams met for a crucial three-game series.[43] The Cubs won the first game of the series with a 2 to 1 victory by Cubs pitcher Dizzy Dean, cutting the Pirates' lead to a half game and setting the stage for one of baseball's most memorable moments.[44]

On September 28, 1938, the two teams met for the second game of the series, where Hartnett experienced the highlight of his career. With darkness descending on the lightless Wrigley Field and the score tied at 5 runs apiece, the umpires ruled that the ninth inning would be the last to be played. The entire game would have to be replayed the following day if the score remained tied. Hartnett came to bat with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. With a count of 0 balls and 2 strikes, Hartnett connected on a Mace Brown pitch, launching the ball into the darkness, before it eventually landed in the left-center field bleachers. The stadium erupted into pandemonium as players and fans stormed the field to escort Hartnett around the bases.[45] Hartnett's walk-off home run became immortalized as the Homer in the Gloamin'.[44]

The Cubs were in first place, culminating an impressive 19-3-1 record in September, and the pennant was clinched three days later.[43] Hartnett once again led the Cubs pitching staff to the lowest earned run average in the league and led National League catchers with a .995 fielding percentage.[46][47] However, the Cubs were swept in the 1938 World Series by the New York Yankees, their fourth Series loss in ten years.[48]

Later career

Hartnett felt the strain of managing a team during the 1939 season as he faced player discontent over the pampering of Dizzy Dean while pitcher Larry French went over his head to complain to owner Philip Wrigley about his lack of pitching assignments.[49] French felt he was being punished for requesting to have Gus Mancuso as his catcher.[49] In addition, Hartnett was forced to catch more games due to the lack of hitting from the other Cubs catchers.[49] On August 28, 1939, he broke Ray Schalk's major league record of 1,727 career games as a catcher.[50] His record for longevity was surpassed by Al López during the 1945 season.[51]

After two disappointing seasons, Hartnett was dismissed by the Cubs on November 13, 1940, after 19 years with the club.[52] On December 3, he signed a contract with the New York Giants to be a player-coach.[53] Hartnett hit for a .300 average in 64 games as a backup catcher to Harry Danning in the 1941 season.[2] He played his final game on September 24, 1941, retiring as a player at the age of 40.[2]

Career statistics

In a 20-year major league career, Hartnett played in 1,990 games, accumulating 1,912 hits in 6,432 at bats for a .297 career batting average along with a .489 slugging percentage, 236 home runs, 1,179 runs batted in and an on-base percentage of .370.[2] He retired with a .984 career fielding percentage.[2] Hartnett caught 100 or more games for a league record 12 times, including a record eight seasons in a row.[54] He led the National League in putouts four times and in assists and fielding percentage six times.[2] He led the league seven times in double plays and set a National league record with 163 career double plays.[55] Hartnett set a since-broken major league record for catchers of 452 consecutive chances without committing an error.[56]

At the time of his retirement, Hartnett's 236 home runs, 1,179 runs batted in, 1,912 hits, and 396 doubles were all records for catchers.[14] Bill Dickey surpassed his records for most runs batted in and hits in 1943, while his career home run record for catchers was broken by Yogi Berra in 1956.[14] His career mark for doubles stood until 1983 when it was broken by Ted Simmons.[57] Hartnett also finished among the National League's top ten in slugging percentage seven times in his career.[2] A six-time All-Star, he was the recipient of one Most Valuable Player Award and played on four pennant-winning teams.[2] Hartnett's .370 career on-base percentage was higher than the .342 posted by Johnny Bench and the .348 posted by Yogi Berra.[58][59] His 56.11% career caught stealing percentage ranks second to Roy Campanella among major league catchers.[60] Hartnett's bat and catcher's mask were the first artifacts sent to the newly constructed Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.[21] In his book, The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, baseball historian Bill James ranked Hartnett 9th all-time among major league catchers.[61]

Gabby Hartnett plaque
Hartnett's plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Post-playing career and retirement

Afterwards, he managed in the minor leagues for five seasons, retiring to Lincolnwood, Illinois in 1946.[62] On January 26, 1955, Hartnett was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Joe DiMaggio, Ted Lyons and Dazzy Vance.[63] In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included Hartnett in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. In 1999, he was named as a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.[64]

Hartnett also served as a color commentator for CBS' Major League Baseball telecasts. Hartnett in particular, alongside Bob Finnegan called the April 11, 1959 contest between Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs and the June 12, 1960 contest between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cubs.

In his last job in the majors Hartnett worked as a coach and scout for the Kansas City Athletics for two years in the mid-1960s. Hartnett died of cirrhosis in Park Ridge, Illinois on his 72nd birthday in 1972, and is interred in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.[54]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Gabby Hartnett at the SABR Bio Project, by Bill Johnson, retrieved July 1, 2012
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Gabby Hartnett statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d William, McNeil (2006). Backstop: a history of the catcher and a sabermetric ranking of 50 all-time greats. McFarland Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7864-2177-0
  4. ^ a b "Gabby Hartnett". entertainment.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  5. ^ Vass, George (November 1969). Superstars of the 70's Who Will They Be?. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "Gabby Hartnett at The Baseball Hall of Fame". baseballhall.org. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "Gabby Hartnett minor league statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Birtwell, Roger (February 1970). Scout's Report on Hartnett Proved Wrong. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c "Gabby Hartnett at Baseball Statistics". baseball-statistics.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  10. ^ James, Bill (2001). The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York: Free Press. p. 401. ISBN 0-684-80697-5.
  11. ^ Ahrens, Art (March 1976). When Old Alex Won his 300th Game. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  12. ^ Lawrence Ritter. The Glory of Their Times. Collier Books. p. 235. ISBN 0-688-11273-0.
  13. ^ "Bob O'Farrell". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Record for Most Home Runs by a Catcher". sabr.org. Archived from the original on July 14, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  15. ^ "1925 National League Batting Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  16. ^ "1925 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d Haag, Irv (April 1973). Baseball's All-Time Greatest Catchers. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  18. ^ "Many Big Trades Expected At Meet". The Telegraph-Herald. I.N.S. December 9, 1925. p. 9. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  19. ^ "1927 National League Most Valuable Player Award ballot". Baseball Reference. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  20. ^ "1928 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  21. ^ a b "Gabby Hartnett at The Baseball Page". thebaseballpage.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  22. ^ "Gabby Hartnett post-season statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  23. ^ "1930 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  24. ^ "Progression of Season Catcher Homerun Record". The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  25. ^ a b c McNeil, William. (2004). In Gabby Hartnett: the life and times of the Cubs' greatest catcher. McFarland Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 0-7864-1850-8. Google Book Search. Retrieved on February 14, 2011.
  26. ^ "1932 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  27. ^ "1932 World Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  28. ^ "1933 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  29. ^ "1934 Gabby Hartnett batting log". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  30. ^ "1934 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  31. ^ "1934 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  32. ^ "1935 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  33. ^ "1935 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  34. ^ "1935 National League Most Valuable Player Award ballot". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  35. ^ "1935 World Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  36. ^ "1936 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  37. ^ "1936 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  38. ^ "1937 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  39. ^ "1937 National League Most Valuable Player Award ballot". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  40. ^ Vass, George (April 1996). Here's How Division Races Shape Up for the '96 Season. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  41. ^ "Mike Piazza career statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  42. ^ "Gabby Hartnett Succeeds Grimm As Cub Manager". The Daily Times. July 21, 1938. p. 9. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  43. ^ a b c "1938 Chicago Cubs Schedule". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  44. ^ a b "Homer In The Gloamin'". mlb.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  45. ^ Carmichael, John (October 1978). When Gabby Hartnett Hit His Homer In The Gloamin'. Baseball Digest. Books.Google.com. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  46. ^ "1938 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  47. ^ "1938 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  48. ^ "1938 World Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  49. ^ a b c "French Action Further Pains Cub's Manager". The Telegraph-Herald. United Press International. August 1, 1939. p. 9. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  50. ^ "Chicago Catcher-Manager Has Equalled or Cracked Long Time Backstop Mark". The Calgary Herald. Associated Press. August 29, 1939. p. 7. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  51. ^ "Al Lopez Set Major Loop Catching Mark". The Daily Times. August 3, 1945. p. 5. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  52. ^ "Gabby Hartnett Dismissed as Chicago Cubs Manager in National League". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. November 14, 1940. p. 15. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  53. ^ "Gabby Hartnett To Coach Giants". The Calgary Herald. Associated Press. December 3, 1940. p. 7. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  54. ^ a b "Former Cubs great, Gabby Hartnett dead". The Telegraph-Herald. Associated Press. December 19, 1972. p. 24. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  55. ^ "Catchers' fielding records". The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  56. ^ "Hartnett Looks Like Old Gabby". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. February 26, 1941. p. 24. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  57. ^ How Ted Simmons Rates With Hall of Fame Catchers. Baseball Digest. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  58. ^ "Johnny Bench career statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  59. ^ "Yogi Berra career statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  60. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Caught Stealing Percentage". Baseball Reference. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  61. ^ James, Bill (2001). The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York: Free Press. p. 374. ISBN 0-684-80697-5.
  62. ^ "Gabby Hartnett minor league manager record". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  63. ^ "Di Mag, Lyons, Hartnett, Vance Voted To Hall". The Victoria Advocate. United Press International. January 27, 1955. p. 10. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  64. ^ "Major League Baseball All-Century Team". mlb.com. Retrieved February 12, 2011.

External links

1927 Chicago Cubs season

The 1927 Chicago Cubs season was the 56th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 52nd in the National League and the 12th at Wrigley Field (the first in which the park was officially named Wrigley Field). The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 85–68.

1928 Chicago Cubs season

The 1928 Chicago Cubs season was the 57th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 53rd in the National League and the 13th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished third in the National League with a record of 91–63. Future hall of famer Gabby Hartnett hit .302, with 14 home runs in 388 at-bats. He led the league with 103 assists.

1930 Chicago Cubs season

The 1930 Chicago Cubs season was the 59th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 55th in the National League and the 15th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs were managed by Joe McCarthy and Rogers Hornsby for the final four games of the season. They finished in second place in Major League Baseball's National League with a record of 90–64. In the peak year of the lively ball era, the Cubs scored 998 runs, third most in the majors. Future Hall of Famers Kiki Cuyler, Gabby Hartnett, and Hack Wilson led the offense.

1932 World Series

The 1932 World Series was a four-game sweep by the American League champions New York Yankees over the National League champions Chicago Cubs. By far its most noteworthy moment was Babe Ruth's "called shot" home run, in his 10th and last World Series. It was punctuated by fiery arguments between the two teams, heating up the atmosphere before the World Series even began. A record 13 future Hall of Famers played in this Series, with three other future Hall of Famers also participating: umpire Bill Klem; Yankee's manager Joe McCarthy; and Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby. It was also the first in which both teams wore uniforms with numbers on the backs of the shirts.

1934 Chicago Cubs season

The 1934 Chicago Cubs season was the 63rd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 59th in the National League and the 19th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished third in the National League with a record of 86–65.

1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the second playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10 at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the home of the New York Giants of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9–7.

The game is well known among baseball historians for the performance of NL starting pitcher Carl Hubbell. After allowing the first two batters to reach base on a single and a base on balls, Hubbell struck out five of the game's best hitters – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin – in succession, setting a longstanding All-Star Game record for consecutive strikeouts.

1935 Chicago Cubs season

The 1935 Chicago Cubs season was the 64th season for the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 60th in the National League and the 20th at Wrigley Field. The season saw the Cubs finish with 100 wins for the first time in 25 years; they would not win 100 games in another season until 2016. The Cubs won their 14th National League pennant in team history and faced the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, but lost in six games.

The 1935 season is largely remembered for the Cubs' 21-game winning streak. The streak began on September 4 with the Cubs 2.5 games out of first place. They would not lose again until September 28. The streak propelled the Cubs to the National League pennant. The 21-game winning streak tied the franchise and major league record set in 1880 when they were known as the Chicago White Stockings.

1935 Major League Baseball season

The 1935 Major League Baseball season.

1935 World Series

The 1935 World Series featured the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs, with the Tigers winning in six games for their first championship in five Series appearances. They had lost in 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1934.

The Tigers won despite losing the services of first baseman Hank Greenberg. In Game 2, Greenberg collided with Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett and broke his wrist, sidelining him for the rest of the Series. Marv Owen replaced him at first base and went 1 for 20. Utility infielder Flea Clifton was forced to fill in for Owen at third base and went 0-for-16 in the Series.

The Cubs had won 21 consecutive games in September (still a record as of 2018), eventually taking the National League pennant by four games over the defending World Series champions, the St. Louis Cardinals.

In Game 6, Tommy Bridges pitched a complete game victory to win the Series for Detroit. With the score tied 3–3 in the top of the ninth inning, Bridges gave up a leadoff triple to Stan Hack, but retired the next three batters without the runner on third scoring. In the bottom of the ninth, Goose Goslin drove in the winning run with two outs. After the game, manager Mickey Cochrane said the following of Bridges' gutsy performance: "A hundred and fifty pounds of courage. If there ever is a payoff on courage this little 150-pound pitcher is the greatest World Series hero."In addition to Bridges, the Tigers had a hitting hero. Right fielder Pete Fox accumulated ten hits and an average of .385 for the Series. Fox hit safely in all six games.

Detroit owner Frank Navin, then 64 years old, had been running the organization for 30 years and had seen four of his teams win American League pennants, only to lose four World Series. Six weeks after the Tigers finally won the World Series in October 1935, Navin suffered a heart attack while riding a horse and died.

1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fourth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 7, 1936, at National League Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the home of the Boston Bees of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–3. It was the National League's first win in All-Star Game history.

1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fifth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 7, 1937, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., the home of the Washington Senators of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 8–3.

The game, watched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is remembered because of a play in which Earl Averill of the Indians hit a ball that struck pitcher Dizzy Dean on the toe, breaking it. Complications of this injury shortened the career of the future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher.

1938 Chicago Cubs season

The 1938 Chicago Cubs season was the 67th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 63rd in the National League and the 23rd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished first in the National League with a record of 89–63. The team was swept four games to none by the New York Yankees in the 1938 World Series.

The team is known for the season of pitcher Dizzy Dean. While pitching for the NL in the 1937 All-Star Game, Dean suffered a big toe fracture. Coming back too soon from the injury, Dean changed his pitching motion to avoid landing too hard on his sore toe enough to affect his mechanics. As a result, he hurt his arm, losing his great fastball. By 1938, Dean's arm was largely gone. Cubs scout Clarence "Pants" Rowland was tasked with the unenviable job of obeying owner Philip K. Wrigley's direct order to buy a washed-up Dean's contract at any cost. Rowland signed the ragged righty for $185,000, one of the most expensive loss-leader contracts in baseball history. Dean still helped the Cubs win the 1938 pennant.

On July 20, Wrigley named 37-year-old Gabby Hartnett as the team's player-manager, replacing Charlie Grimm. When Hartnett took over, the Cubs were in third place, six games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates who were led by Pie Traynor. By September 27, with one week left in the season, the Cubs had battled back to within a game and a half game of the Pirates in the National League standings as the two teams met for a crucial three-game series. Dean pitched the opening game of the series and with his ailing arm, relied more on his experience and grit to defeat the Pirates by a score of 2 to 1. Dean would later call it the greatest outing of his career. The Cubs cut the Pirates' lead to a half game and set the stage for one of baseball's most memorable moments.On September 28, the two teams met for the second game of the series, where Hartnett experienced the highlight of his career. With darkness descending on the lightless Wrigley Field and the score tied at 5 runs apiece, the umpires ruled that the ninth inning would be the last to be played. The entire game would have to be replayed the following day if the score remained tied. Hartnett came to bat with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. With a count of 0 balls and 2 strikes, Hartnett connected on a Mace Brown pitch, launching the ball into the darkness, before it eventually landed in the left-center field bleachers. The stadium erupted into pandemonium as players and fans stormed the field to escort Hartnett around the bases. Hartnett's walk-off home run became immortalized as the Homer in the Gloamin'. The Cubs were now in first place, culminating an impressive 19-3-1 record in September, and the pennant would be clinched three days later.It would be 50 years before lights were installed at Wrigley Field.

1939 Chicago Cubs season

The 1939 Chicago Cubs season was the 68th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 64th in the National League and the 24th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 84–70.

1940 Chicago Cubs season

The 1940 Chicago Cubs season was the 69th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 65th in the National League and the 25th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League with a record of 75–79.

1941 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1941 New York Giants season was the franchise's 59th season. The team finished in fifth place in the National League with a 74-79 record, 25½ games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1955 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1955 followed a system established for odd-number years in 1953.

The eligibility of retired players was extended; previously, a player could not be on the BBWAA ballot if he had retired more than 25 years prior. The ballot could now include those who had been retired for up to 30 years.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected four: Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons, and Dazzy Vance.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier players.

It selected two players, Frank Baker and Ray Schalk.

Homer in the Gloamin'

The Homer in the Gloamin' is one of the most famous walk-off home runs in baseball folklore, hit by Gabby Hartnett of the Chicago Cubs near the end of the 1938 Major League Baseball season. The expression was a play on the popular song, "Roamin' In The Gloamin' " and was used in the lead paragraph of a story about the game written by Earl Hilligan for the Associated Press.

John Bottarini

John Charles Bottarini (September 14, 1908 – October 8, 1976) was a right-handed catcher for the Chicago Cubs during the 1937 season. He did not see much playing time as the Cubs were anchored behind the plate by future Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett. Bottarini appeared in 26 games for the Cubs that season and put up decent offensive numbers, hitting .275 in 40 at-bats with three doubles, a home run and 7 RBI. He made 19 appearances in the field—18 at catcher and one in the outfield.

After the 1937 season, Bottarini was sold to Memphis of the minor league Southern Association. He would never play in the major leagues again.

Bottarini died by drowning after a boating accident on October 8, 1976 in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

Mandy Brooks

Jonathan Joseph "Mandy" Brooks, (born Jonathan Joseph Brozek in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) (August 18, 1897 – December 6, 1976) was a right-handed outfielder in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs.

Brooks' major-league debut came at the relatively advanced age of 27 on May 30, 1925. He went on to be a regular for the Cubs that season, playing the second-most games of any outfielder. Every one of his defensive appearances came in center field. It was a rather successful rookie campaign; Brooks trailed only future Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett for the club's home run lead by slugging 14 round-trippers, good enough to finish tenth in the entire National League in that category. Brooks was also second on the Cubs in RBI (72) and slugging percentage (.513). He finished his first season with a respectable .281 batting average.

Brooks, however, fell victim to the Cubs' acquisition of star outfielder Hack Wilson and found himself all but useless in the 1926 season. He played his final game for the Cubs on June 22 of that year, finishing his final big-league campaign with modest marks of 1 home run, a .188 batting average, and 6 RBI.

Brooks died on December 6, 1976 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

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