COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK – Rogers Hornsby was elected to the Hall of Fame on this day in baseball history. Hornsby was one of the greatest hitters of all-time, probably the greatest right-handed hitter. He finished with a .358 lifetime average. Only Ty Cobb, a left-handed hitter, had a higher lifetime average at .366.
Hornsby’s most productive years were with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1915 to 1926. He helped the Cardinals win the 1926 World Series. He hit .424 in 1924 – the 6th highest batting single season average ever. No one has come close to .425 since. Only three players have hit over .400 since 1924. One of them is named Hornsby.
Hornsby had a monster season for the Chicago Cubs in 1929, hitting .380 with 149 runs batted in and 156 runs scored. Hornsby also played for the New York Giants, St. Louis Browns (today’s Baltimore Orioles) and Boston Braves (today’s Atlanta Braves).
“Rajah” as he was called, played all infield positions but was mostly a second baseman. He was a two-time National League Most Valuable Player. Hornsby and Ted Williams are the only players to win the Triple Crown (most home runs, runs batted in and highest average in one season) twice.
Rogers Hornsby was born April 27, 1896 in Winters, Texas. He died in Chicago January 5, 1963. He was the fourteenth player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.