When you are competing for notoriety against the likes of Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg, you have to be really good … great … to grab headlines. You need to hit a ton of homeruns. You need to rack up the RBI’s and you better have a terrific batting average to go along with all of that. Well, that’s exactly what Hal Trosky of the Cleveland Indians did. In fact, in his first four full years for the Indians, he averaged 33+ homeruns a season, over 136 RBI a year and his batting average over his first four years was .310. The guy could flat-out rake! In 1936, his best year, he hit .343 with 42 homeruns, 162 RBI and 405 total bases! His OPS was 1.026. In his first two full seasons, he played every inning of every game. Yet, he was a virtual unknown. Playing for a team that never contended, Trosky was relegated to playing in obscurity. At a time when baseball staged two all-star games a year, Trosky was never invited – a terrible injustice. How could a guy who hit the way he did, a guy who other teams had to plan for, a guy averaged 27 homeruns and 122 RBI a year for his career to go along with a yearly average of .302 be so overlooked? Hal Trosky is the true definition of what this podcast is all about – a forgotten hero. Perhaps, even more amazing is this, very few fans of the Cleveland Indians know his name. Well, on this episode of Sports’ Forgotten Heroes, we recall the career of Hal Trosky and remind fans of the Indians just how great he was; and here to help us do that is William H. (Bill) Johnson who wrote the terrific book, “Hal Trosky: A Baseball Biography.”
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