Cubs History: Overlooked Cubs Hall of Fame players

(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /
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(Photo Reproduction by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)
(Photo Reproduction by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images) /

Cubs: Long before Ryno, Billy Herman was one of the best at second

William Jennings Bryan “Billy” Herman was born on July 7, 1909 in New Albany, Indiana. He was playing for the Louisville Colonels of the American Association in 1931 when the Chicago Cubs purchased him. For the next decade Herman would man second base in Chicago.

From 1931 to 1941, Herman played in 1,344 games as a Cub and hit .309/.366/.417 with 37 home runs, 577 RBI, 112 OPS+ and totaled 1,710 hits. Only Ryne Sandberg has more hits by a second baseman in franchise history. While not a power hitter, Herman hit 346 doubles (also second behind Sandberg) and 69 triples. He is 12th in runs scored (875) among all players in franchise history.

Herman was part of three pennant-winning Cubs teams in 1932, 1935 and 1938. From 1934 through 1941 he was selected to the All-Star Game every single year. In 1935 he racked up 227 hits which led all of baseball. In 1939 he hit the most triples in baseball (18). He was truly the team’s first perennial All-Star.

In May 1941 he was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers. From 1944 to 1945 he served in the U.S. Navy before returning for two more years, playing with the Dodgers, Braves and Pirates. After his playing career he stayed in baseball as a coach and manager. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1975 and passed away in 1992.