Chicago Cubs: ‘Smiling’ Stan Hack remains an all-time organizational great

Chicago Cubs (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: From unknown to All-Star

At the beginning of Hack’s age 28 season, nobody, including Hack, had an idea of what was on the horizon. Hack was coming off an impressive year prior, in which he hit .297 and was about to explode onto the scene once and for all.

Hack set career highs in every offensive category in 1938, earning an All-Star nod after slashing .320/.411/.432, including an .843 OPS and a 129 OPS+. Hack finished seventh in MVP voting, finishing well ahead of teammate Gabby Hartnett. The Cubs, as a team, finished the year with three of their guys in the top ten in overall voting.

From 1938-1943, Hack slashed .307/.396/.412 with a 127 OPS+ and a 5 percent strikeout rate, in 892 games. Hack managed a 27.9 WAR in that span, eclipsing a five WAR season on four separate occasions and finishing in the top 15 of MVP voting three different seasons, along with four all-star appearances.