Rogers Hornsby was born on Monday, April 27, 1896, in Winters, Texas. Hornsby was 19 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 10, 1915, with the St. Louis Cardinals. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Rogers Hornsby baseball stats page.
Rogers Hornsby Pitching Stats
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Rogers Hornsby Hitting Stats
Rogers Hornsby Fielding Stats
Rogers Hornsby Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Rogers Hornsby Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1915 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$1,200.00||n/a||-|
|1916 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$2,000.00||n/a||-|
|1917 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$3,000.00||n/a||-|
|1918 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$4,000.00||n/a||-|
|1919 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$4,000.00||n/a||-|
|1920 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$5,000.00||n/a||-|
|1921 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$11,000.00||n/a||-|
|1922 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$18,500.00||n/a||-|
|1923 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$18,500.00||n/a||-|
|1924 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$24,500.00||n/a||-|
|1925 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$33,333.00||n/a||-|
|1926 St. Louis Cardinals||n/a||$33,333.00||n/a||Stats|
|1927 New York Giants||n/a||$36,500.00||n/a||-|
|1928 Boston Braves||n/a||$40,000.00||n/a||-|
|1929 Chicago Cubs||n/a||$40,000.00||n/a||Stats|
|1930 Chicago Cubs||n/a||$40,000.00||n/a||-|
|1931 Chicago Cubs||n/a||$40,000.00||n/a||-|
|1932 Chicago Cubs||9||$40,000.00||n/a||-|
|1933 St. Louis Cardinals||4||$15,000.00||-||-|
|1933 St. Louis Browns||16||$15,000.00||-||-|
|1934 St. Louis Browns||11||$15,000.00||-||-|
|1935 St. Louis Browns||11||$15,000.00||-||-|
|1936 St. Louis Browns||4||$18,000.00||-||-|
|1937 St. Louis Browns||4||$18,333.00||-||-|
|Rogers Hornsby Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that Rogers Hornsby career batting average of .358 is second best in the history of Major League Baseball ( Top 1,000 )? Let's take a closer look at the career of the only player to ever hit at least forty home runs and hit .400 or better in the same season:
Rogers Hornsby: Before Professional Baseball
Rogers Hornsby was born in Winters, Texas, the last of Ed and Mary (Rogers) Hornsby's six children. When Hornsby was two years old, his father died of unknown causes. Four years later, the surviving Hornsbys moved to Fort Worth, Texas, so Hornsby's brothers could get jobs in the meat packing industry to support the family.
Hornsby started playing baseball at a very young age; he once said, "I can't remember anything that happened before I had a baseball in my hand." He took a job with the Swift and Company meat industry plant as a messenger boy when he was 10 years old, and he also served as a substitute infielder on its baseball team. By the age of 15, Hornsby was already playing for several semi-professional teams. He also played baseball for North Side High School until 10th grade, when he dropped out to take a full-time job at Swift and Company. While he was in high school, Hornsby also played on the football team, alongside future College Football Hall of Famer Bo McMillin.
Rogers Hornsby: Life in the Minors
In 1914, Hornsby's older brother Everett, a minor league baseball player for many years, arranged for Rogers to get a tryout with the Texas League's Dallas Steers. He made the team, but did not play in any games for the Steers; he was released after only two weeks. Following his dismissal, he signed with the Hugo Scouts of the Class D Texas-Oklahoma League as their shortstop for $75 per month ($1,766 today). The Scouts went out of business a third of the way through the season, and Hornsby's contract was sold to the Denison Champions of the same league for $125 ($2,943 today). With both teams in 1914, Hornsby batted .232 and committed 45 errors in 113 games.
The Denison team changed its name to the Denison Railroaders and joined the Western Association in 1915. They raised Hornsby's salary to $90 per month ($2,098 today). Hornsby's average improved that season to .277 in 119 games, but he made 58 errors. Nonetheless, his contributions helped the Railroaders win the Western Association pennant. At the end of the season, a writer from The Sporting News said that Hornsby was one of about a dozen Western Association players to show any major league potential.
Rogers Hornsby: The Cardinal
The Cardinals picked up Roy Corhan from the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League to play at shortstop in 1916, making Hornsby one of three candidates for the position. Hornsby's great performance in spring training, a shoulder injury to Corhan, and poor hitting by Butler meant Hornsby was the starting shortstop on Opening Day. He had both runs batted in (RBIs) in the Cardinals' 21 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that day. On May 14, he hit his first major league home run against Jeff Pfeffer of Brooklyn. He rotated among infield positions before finally settling in at third base for much of the second half of the year. Late in the season, he missed 11 games with a sprained ankle. He finished 1916 with a .313 average, fourth in the NL, and he was one short of the league lead in triples with 15.
Hornsby returned to the shortstop position in 1917 after Corhan returned to San Francisco and Butler was released. After playing nearly every game throughout the first month of the season, Hornsby was called away from the team on May 29 after his brother William was shot and killed in a saloon. Rogers attended the funeral on June 1 and returned to the Cardinals on June 3, finishing the season without missing any more playing time. His batting statistics improved from the previous season; his .327 batting average was second in the league, and he led the league in triples (17), total bases (253), and slugging percentage (.484).
Many baseball players were drafted to fight in World War I in 1918, but Hornsby was given a draft deferment because he was supporting his family. During the offseason, Miller Huggins, unhappy with the Cardinals' management, left the team to manage the New York Yankees. He was replaced by Jack Hendricks, who had managed the Indianapolis Indians to a pennant in the American Association the previous year. Hornsby lacked confidence in Hendricks's ability to run the Cardinals, and the two men developed animosity towards each other as a result of Hornsby's growing egotism and fondness for former manager Huggins. Under Hendricks, Hornsby's batting average dipped to .281. He had problems off the field too; on June 17, Hornsby hit St. Louis resident Frank G. Rowe with his Buick when Rowe stepped out in front of traffic to cross an intersection. Rowe sued Hornsby for $15,000 ($235,188 today), but Hornsby eventually settled for a smaller, undisclosed amount, and the case was dismissed. He was still among the league leaders in triples and slugging percentage in 1918, but after the season ended with the Cardinals in last place, he announced that he would never play under Hendricks again. Partially due to Hornsby's complaints, Hendricks was fired after the season and replaced by Branch Rickey, then president of the Cardinals.
In 1919, after the Cardinals acquired shortstop Doc Lavan, Rickey tried converting Hornsby into a second baseman in spring training. Hornsby played third base for most of the year. His batting average was low at the beginning of the season but improved by June. At season's end, his average of .318 was second-highest in the league, and he also finished second in total bases and runs batted in.
In 1920, Rickey moved Hornsby to second base, where he remained for the rest of his career. He started the year with a 14-game hitting streak. On June 4, he had two triples and two RBIs as the Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs 51, a game that ended future Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander's 11-game winning streak. Hornsby finished the season with the first of seven batting titles by hitting .370, and he also led the league in on-base percentage (.431), slugging percentage (.559), hits (218), total bases (329), doubles (44), and RBIs (94).
The beginning of the live-ball era led to a spike in hitting productivity throughout the majors, which helped Hornsby to hit with increased power during the 1921 season. He hit .397 in 1921, and his 21 home runs were second in the league, more than twice his total in any previous season. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.458), slugging percentage (.639), runs scored (131), RBIs (126), doubles (44), and triples (18). The Cardinals held a special day in Hornsby's honor on September 30 before a home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they presented Hornsby with multiple awards before the game, including a baseball autographed by President of the United States Warren G. Harding. The Cardinals beat the Pirates 124 that day as Hornsby hit a home run and had two doubles.
By the 1922 season, Hornsby was considered a big star, having led the league in batting average, hits, doubles, and runs batted in multiple times. As a result, he sought a three-year contract for $25,000 per season. After negotiating with Cardinals management, he settled for a three-year, $18,500 contract ($260,655 today), which made him the highest-paid player in league history to that point. He then became the only player in history to hit over 40 home runs and bat over .400 in the same season. On August 5, Hornsby set a new NL record when he hit his 28th home run of the season off of Jimmy Ring of the Philadelphia Phillies. From August 13 through September 19, he had a 33-game hitting streak. He finished the year with a new record of 42 home runs, and he also set NL records in hits (250) and slugging percentage (.722, the highest ever for 600+ at-bat players). He won the first of his two Triple Crowns that year, and he led the league in batting average (.401), RBIs (152), on-base percentage (.459), doubles (46), and runs scored (141). His 450 total bases was the highest mark for any NL player ever. On defense, Hornsby led all second basemen in putouts, double plays, and fielding percentage. His batting performance that year was, and still is, one of the finest in MLB history, and his 42 home runs are still the most ever for a .400 hitter.
On May 8, 1923, Hornsby suffered an injury to his left knee in a game against the Phillies when he turned to make a throw. He returned 10 days later, but the injury lingered, and he was removed from a game against the Pirates on May 26 to be examined by Robert Hyland, the Cardinals' physician. Hyland had Hornsby's knee placed in a cast for two weeks, after which he returned to the Cardinals. During a game in August, Hornsby was on third base late in the game and threw up his hands in disgust in response to a sign flashed by Rickey; he had given the current batter the take sign, and Hornsby felt the batter should have hit the ball. After the game, he and Rickey fought in the clubhouse, but teammates quickly broke it up. Hornsby missed several games late in the year with injuries that the Cardinals (and Hyland) did not believe to be serious; as a result he was fined $500 ($6,921 today) and suspended for the last five games of the year. However, Hornsby still won his fourth consecutive NL batting title with a batting average of .384. He also repeated as the leader in on-base percentage (.459) and slugging percentage (.627).
Hornsby raised his average to .424 in 1924, which is the sixth-highest batting average in a single season in MLB history, and the live-ball era batting average record. He led the league with 89 walks, producing a .507 on-base percentage. His slugging percentage of .696 again led the league, as did his 121 runs scored, 227 hits, and 43 doubles; he hit 25 home runs as well. That year, the NL reintroduced its Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Although Hornsby was expected to win the award, it went to Dazzy Vance instead. Cincinnati voter Jack Ryder left Hornsby's name off his ballot altogether because he believed Hornsby was an MVP on the stat sheet, but was not a team player. In 1962, the Baseball Writers Association of America presented Hornsby with an award retroactively recognizing him as the 1924 MVP.
In 1925, Sam Breadon, the owner of the Cardinals, wished to replace Rickey as manager. Hornsby initially declined the job. After discovering that Rickey planned to sell his stock in the Cardinals if he was replaced as field manager, Hornsby agreed to take the job as long as Breadon would help him purchase the stock. Breadon agreed, and Hornsby became the Cardinals' manager. Hornsby finished the year with his second Triple Crown, when he combined a .403 batting average with 39 home runs and 143 RBIs. He bested teammate Jim Bottomley in the batting title race by nearly 40 points. That year, he won the MVP Award, receiving 73 out of 80 possible votes. His .756 slugging percentage set an NL record. The Cardinals finished in fourth place in 1925, finishing one game over .500, though the team won 64 games and lost 51 under Hornsby. During the year, his wife Jeanette had a son, Billy.
Hornsby had an off-year offensively in 1926, as he hit only .317 with 11 home runs. Nonetheless, St. Louis won its first NL pennant. In the 1926 World Series, the Cardinals defeated the Yankees in a seven-game series; Hornsby tagged out Babe Ruth on a stolen base attempt, ending the Series and giving St. Louis its first undisputed world championship. During post-season negotiations for a new contract, Hornsby demanded $50,000 per year for three years. Breadon agreed to a one-year contract for $50,000 ($666,071 today). When Hornsby refused to give way, the Cardinals traded him to the New York Giants for Frankie Frisch and Jimmy Ring on December 20, 1926. The trade was briefly postponed as NL president John Heydler stated that Hornsby could not play for the Giants while he held stock in the Cardinals. Hornsby wanted $105 per share for his stock, a price Breadon was unwilling to pay. In early 1927, Hornsby was able to sell his shares at $105 each, enabling him to officially become a Giant.
Rogers Hornsby: The Giant
Hornsby enjoyed a better season in 1927, as he hit .361 and led the league in runs scored (133), walks (86), and on-base percentage (.448). He managed the Giants for part of the year as well, as manager John McGraw dealt with health problems. Hornsby's performance helped guide the Giants to a 9262 winloss record during the season, which was good enough for third place in the NL. However, Hornsby's gambling problems at the racetrack and distrust of Giants' management annoyed team owner Charles Stoneham. During the offseason he was traded to the Boston Braves for Jimmy Welsh and Shanty Hogan.
Rogers Hornsby: The Brave
With the Braves in 1928, Hornsby was again the league's most productive hitter; he won his seventh batting title with a .387 average, also leading the league in on-base percentage (.498), slugging percentage (.632), and walks (107). One month into the season, manager Jack Slattery resigned, and the Braves hired Hornsby to be his replacement. The Braves, however, lost 103 games and finished in seventh place out of eight teams in the NL. They were struggling financially as well, and when the Chicago Cubs offered $200,000 ($2,746,899 today) and five players for Hornsby, the Braves found the offer too good to pass up.
Rogers Hornsby: The Cub
Hornsby hit .380 in 1929 for Chicago while recording 39 home runs and leading the league with a .679 slugging percentage and 156 runs scored; the .380 batting average set a Cubs team record. He also collected another MVP award, and the Cubs won the NL pennant. However, they lost in the 1929 World Series to the Philadelphia Athletics in five games, as Hornsby batted .238 with one RBI. He also set a World Series record for strikeouts with eight.
After the first two months of the 1930 season, Hornsby was batting .325 with two home runs. In the first game of a doubleheader against the Cardinals, Hornsby broke his ankle while advancing to third base. He did not return until August 19, and he was used mostly as a pinch-hitter for the rest of the season. When Joe McCarthy was fired with four games remaining in the season Hornsby became the team's manager. Hornsby finished the year with a .308 batting average and two home runs.
On April 24, 1931, Hornsby hit three home runs and drove in eight runs in a 106 victory over Pittsburgh. Hornsby played in 44 of the first 48 games, but after a disappointing performance he only played himself about half the time for the rest of the year. In 100 games, he had 90 RBIs, 37 doubles, and a batting average of .331. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.421) for the ninth time in his career. The team finished 8470, 17 games back of the pennant-winning Cardinals, and four games back of the Giants.
The 1931 season was Hornsby's last as a full-time player. Boils on his feet bothered him during the start of the 1932 season, and he did not play his first game until May 29. Hornsby played right field from May 29 to June 10, appeared in two games as a pinch hitter, played third base from July 14 through July 18, and played one last game as a Cub when he pinch-hit on July 31.
William Veeck, Sr., who was running the team, was unhappy with Hornsby's management of the team. Hornsby maintained strict rules, and Veeck thought his managing style hurt team morale. Veeck believed Hornsby broke a cardinal rule of baseball in one particular incident. Hornsby disagreed with a call made by the umpire. Instead of disputing the call himself, as was the manager's job, Hornsby sent another player to argue with the umpire. That player was ejected from the game. On August 2, although the Cubs were in second place, Hornsby was released, and Charlie Grimm replaced him as manager. Hornsby had played 19 games, batting .224 with one home run and seven RBIs. Although the Cubs advanced to the 1932 World Series, the players voted not to give Hornsby any of the World Series money.
Rogers Hornsby: The Cardinal (again) and Brown
Hornsby did not play for the rest of 1932, but the Cardinals signed him as a player on October 24 for the 1933 season. He played regularly at second base from April 25 through May 5, but he was used mostly as a pinch hitter with the Cardinals. On July 22, he had his final NL hit in a 95 loss to the Braves. Through July 23, Hornsby was batting .325 with two home runs and 21 RBIs. However, the Cardinals chose to place him on waivers.
Hornsby was claimed by the last place St. Louis Browns of the American League (AL) on July 26 as player-manager. Bill Killefer had just resigned as Browns manager, and Browns owner Phil Ball wanted Hornsby as a replacement. Hornsby appeared in 11 games for the Browns. He had three hits, including a home run, in nine at-bats. The Browns finished in last place in the AL. That year, Hornsby began operating a baseball school in Hot Springs, Texas, which he ran on and off between 1933 and 1951 with various associates.
In 1934, Hornsby started only two games, one at third base, and the other in right field. In all of his other appearances, he was a pinch hitter. For the season, he batted .304 with one home run and 11 RBIs. The Browns improved on their previous season, finishing in sixth place out of eight teams in the AL.
Hornsby played in 10 games in the 1935 season, starting in 4. From April 16 through April 21, he started at first base, and he started at third base on May 22. He finished the year with five hits and a .208 average, while the Browns slipped to seventh place.
Hornsby only appeared in two games with the team during the 1936 season. On May 31, his pinch-hit single in the ninth inning gave the Browns an 1110 win over the Detroit Tigers. In his other appearance on June 9, he played first base in a 53 win over the Yankees. The Browns again finished in seventh place.
In 1937, Hornsby played in 20 games. On April 21, in his first game of the year, Hornsby hit the final home run of his career in a 1510 victory over the Chicago White Sox. On July 5, he had the final hit of his career in a 154 loss in the second game of a doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians.
On July 20, Hornsby appeared in what would be his final game, a 54 loss to the Yankees. A day later, Hornsby was fired as manager and released as a player by the Browns, who were in last place at the time of his release. His release was partly due to an incident with Browns owner Donald Barnes. On July 15, Hornsby won $35,000 ($574,178 today) from betting on a horse race. When he tried to use $4,000 of this money to pay off a debt to Barnes, Barnes refused it, since it had come from a bookmaker. Hornsby protested to Barnes, "The money is as good as the money you take from people in the loan-shark business. It's better than taking interest from widows and orphans... "; that made his release five days later an easy decision for Barnes. Hornsby finished the 1937 season with a .321 batting average and 18 hits in 20 games, and was the oldest player in the AL that season.
Rogers Hornsby | National Baseball Hall of Fame Plaque | Class of 1942 ( HOF )
Rogers Hornsby finished an absolutely spectacular Major League career with two National League MVP Awards (1925 & 1929), two Triple Crowns (1922 & 1925), two-times a triples leader (1917 & 1921), two-times a home runs leader (1922 & 1925), three-times a bases on balls leader (1924, 1927 & 1928), four-times a hits leader (1920-1922 & 1924), four-times a doubles leader (1920-1922 & 1924), four-times an RBIs leader (1920-1922 & 1925), five-times a runs scored leader (1921, 1922, 1924, 1927 & 1929), seven-times a total bases leader (1917, 1920-1922, 1924, 1925 & 1929), seven-times a batting champion (1920-1925 & 1928), nine-times an on-base percentage leader (1920-1925, 1927, 1928 & 1931) and nine-times a slugging percentage leader (1917, 1920-1925, 1928 & 1929). Hornsby was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1942 (plaque above).
Rajah was so fast that he finished his career with thirty-three inside the park home runs and was so respected as a hitter that once, when a rookie pitcher complained to umpire Bill Klem that he thought he had thrown Rogers a strike, Klem replied ( Rogers Hornsby Quotes ), "Son, when you pitch a strike, Mr. Hornsby will let you know."
Last-Modified: February 1, 2018 10:05 AM EST