Hack Wilson

Lewis Robert "Hack" Wilson (April 26, 1900 – November 23, 1948) was an American Major League Baseball player who played 12 seasons for the New York Giants, Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Despite his diminutive stature, he was one of the most accomplished power hitters in the game during the late 1920s and early 1930s. His 1930 season with the Cubs is widely considered one of the most memorable individual single-season hitting performances in baseball history. Highlights included 56 home runs, the National League record for 68 years; and 191 runs batted in, a mark yet to be surpassed. "For a brief span of a few years," wrote a sportswriter of the day, "this hammered down little strongman actually rivaled the mighty [Babe] Ruth."

While Wilson's combativeness and excessive alcohol consumption made him one of the most colorful sports personalities of his era, his drinking and fighting undoubtedly contributed to a premature end to his athletic career and, ultimately, his premature demise. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

By Dean Hanley

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