Chicago Cubs: The Heroes of Wrigley Series presents Hack Wilson

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: A Hall of Famer, despite his hardships and battles

During his 12-year Major League career, Wilson played 1,348 games and accumulated 1,461 hits for a career batting average of .307 and a .395 on-base percentage. He hit 244 home runs and batted in 1,063 runs. He led the National League in home runs four times and surpassed 100 RBI six times. He also finished his career with a .965 fielding percentage, highlighting his defensive ability and range.

Known for his unique build and having one of the strangest swings in history, he always swung it with mighty clout. Despite his small stature, his incredible upper body strength helped him lead the National League in home runs every year from 1926 to 1930, a period in which he averaged 35 home runs and 142 RBI per season. His claim for a place among the baseball immortals rests on the seasons he had while playing with the Chicago Cubs.

His election into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown eluded Wilson for 40 years until he was inducted in 1979 by the Veteran’s Committee.

His chronic alcoholism ravaged and killed his baseball career and eventually the man himself. He suffered many hardships during the entirety of his life but managed to string together a Hall of Fame career. If Hack Wilson doesn’t deserve the title of being a “hard luck hero,” a place alongside Campanella, Joss, Koufax, and Youngs – who does?