The case for Chicago Cubs legend Stan Hack to be in Cooperstown

Baseball, 1951
Baseball, 1951 / University of Southern California/GettyImages

From 1932-1947, the hot corner for the Chicago Cubs was manned by Stanley Camfield "Stan" Hack. His career is often overlooked, partially because of the other notable Cubs' third basemen who followed him over the decades including Hall of Famer Ron Santo, Aramis Ramirez, and Kris Bryant. Hack is part of the Cubs Hall of Fame at Wrigley Field, but not the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Hack's career numbers are extremely impressive. In 1,938 games he slashed .301/.394/.397 with 2,193 hits, 363 doubles, 81 triples, 165 stolen bases, 124 wRC+, and a 59 fWAR. His ability to wait back and shoot the ball the other way helped make him as successful as he was. Not to mention his ability to just make contact, only striking out 5.5% of the time in his career.

Sporting a lifetime .301 average and .394 OBP over 16 years is worthy of much praise. Per FanGraphs, the average Hall of Fame third baseman typically sports around a 60-65 career fWAR, and Hack is right around that number. Hack is 15th in all-time putouts by an MLB third baseman, 19th in hits by an MLB third baseman, sixth in hits by a Cub, tied with Frank Chance for seventh in on-base percentage by a Cub, second in singles by a Cub (1,692) and first in walks drawn by a Cub (1,092).

Looking at bWAR (baseball-reference WAR), they have Hack's at 55.5. Among third basemen, that is 21st of all time. There are 10 Hall of Fame third basemen who have less of a career bWAR than Hack.

The one thing Hack did not do much of was hit for power. He hit only 57 homers in his career and his season-high record was eight. There are 49 third basemen with at least 200 home runs in their careers. It just was not part of his game, it was hitting line drives and getting on base to get the offense going.

With all of that being said, Hack had accomplished a lot in his MLB career. There are some legit arguments to be made to put him in Cooperstown based on statistics. He has been seen by many as a "Hall of Very Good", but compare his numbers to other third basemen in the Hall of Fame and it will make you at least think about it.