Cooperstown Chronicles – Chuck Klein

Jul 4, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1981.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI 

The Numbers
Played 1928-1944 (17 Seasons)
1753 Games
6486 At Bats
.320 Batting Average 
1168 Runs
2076 Hits
3522 Total Bases
398 Doubles
74 Triples
300 HRs
1201 RBI
601 Walks 
79 SBs

Nine .300 Seasons
Six 100 Run Seasons
Five 200 Hit Season
Six 30 Double Seasons (four of 44+)
Two 10 Triple Seasons
Four 30 HR Seasons
Six 100 RBI Seasons

Playoffs:  4 for 12 (.333), 2 Runs, 1 HR, 2 RBI.


1932 MVP
1933 Triple Crown
MVP Votes in 4 Seasons
2 All-Star Appearances

Top Ten Finishes

Batting Average - 5 Times (1933 Batting Title)
On-base % - 4 Times (Led league in 1933)
Slugging % - 9 Times (Led league in 1931. 1932, 1933)
OPS - 7 Times (Led league in 1932, 1933)
Games - 3 Times (Led league in 1930 & 1933)
At Bats - 6 Times
Runs – 6 Times (Led league in 1930, 1931 & 1932)
Hits – 5 Times (Led league in 1932 & 1933)
Total Bases - 6 Times (Led league in 1930, 1931, 1932 & 1933)
Extra-base Hits - 6 Times (Led league in 1929, 1930, 1932 & 1933)
Doubles - 5 Times (Led league in 1930 & 1933)
Triples – Once
Home Runs – 8 Times (Led leagie in 1929, 1931, 1932 & 1933) 
RBI – 6 Times (Led league in 1931 & 1933)
Walks - 3 Times
Hit by Pitch – 7 Times
Stolen Bases – Twice (Led league in 1932)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink: Batting – 60 (16) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 166 (64) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 48.0 (85) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 193.5 (44) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Another goofy one when you look at the numbers he produced from 1929-1933.  He averaged 224 Hits, 36 HRs,139 RBI, and hit .359 .  He blows the HOF yardsticks out of the water (again the HOF Standards rating is goofy).  I guess the problem is he only had three decent years after that incredible stretch, but that stretch was one of the most impressive in baseball history.  He was capable in the field as well, leading the league on OF assists on three occasions.  The voters discounted his numbers because of the short right field at the Baker Bowl.  After researching Klein I can see why there was some hesitation to enshrine him as his numbers took a nose dive when he left the hitter’s park.  However, numbers are numbers and I also see why he ultimately got in. 

Baseball Library

Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Harold Baines

Albert Belle
Pete Browning
Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Larry Corcoran
Mike Cuellar
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson
Tommy John
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Jerry Koosman
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Harry Stovey
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

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4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry Novak
    July 5th, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    When you have 5 WOW years and also 3 pretty good years he does belong in the HOF

  2. LestersLegends
    July 6th, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    Good call.

  3. Cooperstown Chronicles - Stan Coveleski :: Elites TV
    May 13th, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    [...] John Bob Johnson Addie Joss* Jim Kaat George Kell* Joe Kelley* George Kelly* Tom Kelly (Manager) Chuck Klein* Jerry Koosman Bill James & Pete Palmer Barry Larkin Tony Lazzeri* Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey [...]

  4. Cowboy Jim-Brad
    November 30th, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Well,Klein and Negro League outfield legend Oscar Charleston share my
    boy Jamie Logsdon’s Indianapolis,Ind.,birthplace.Anyway,to ME,Klein should be IN,but remember all the games he played in Little League-sized
    Baker Bowl.(Though Klein was also a GREAT fielder and right-field
    thrower and a good base-runner.)

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