Hal Trosky

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Note: This page links to Hal Trosky, Sr., the All-Star player. For his son who played in 1958, click here.

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Harold Arthur Trosky Sr.
born Harold Arthur Trojovsky

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Hal Trosky was an excellent player who had several Hall of Fame quality years. He was 28 when World War II started, but he had announced his retirement due to migraine headaches, so the war did not interfere with his career. In 1944, he came back to play, and then again in 1946.

Born in 1912, he broke in with the Cleveland Indians when he was 20 years old. Playing in his first full season in 1934, he slugged .598, hitting .330 with 35 home runs, 45 doubles, 9 triples, and 142 RBI. It was Lou Gehrig who dominated that year - Trosky was second in RBI behind him, second in total bases behind him, and third in home runs behind him. There was no Rookie of the Year Award yet, but he would have won that distinction handily had it existed.

1936 was another great year, with 42 home runs and 161 RBI. The RBI led the league, but the home runs were second behind Gehrig. Gehrig wasn't an easy guy to beat. Trosky's 162 RBI ranks # 19 on the all-time list for most RBI in a season. He led the majors in total bases with 405. That number ranks him (through 2014) 23rd all-time among single-season leaders, tying him with Chuck Klein (1929) and Todd Helton (2000). Only Joe DiMaggio, who was 22 when he amassed 418 total bases in 1937, topped 400 at a younger age than Trosky.

In 1939, he slugged .589, and his .335 batting average was fourth in the league.

The Indians were consistently above .500 during Trosky's years on the team. The biggest stars on the team, besides Trosky, were Earl Averill, a young Bob Feller, and a young Lou Boudreau.

Although Trosky had played his entire career with the Indians prior to his 1941 retirement, when he came back he played for the Chicago White Sox. Trosky was from Iowa, and Chicago was closer to home. He wasn't as good with the White Sox, but in 1944 he led them in doubles and home runs. In 1946, however, his power was gone.

He played eleven seasons in the majors, with a .302 batting average and a .522 slugging percentage. As a comparison, his Hall of Fame teammate Earl Averill spent 13 seasons in the big leagues, with a .318 average and a .534 slugging percentage. According to the similarity scores method, the most similar players are Wally Berger and Hack Wilson.

After his career, he was a farmer and then did agricultural real estate sales.

He was the father of Hal Trosky Jr. and the great-great uncle of minor leaguer Nate Frese. Dixie Howell played with both Hal Troskys.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL RBI Leader (1936)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (1936)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 6 (1934-1937 & 1939-1940)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1934, 1936 & 1937)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1936)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 6 (1934-1939)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 4 (1934 & 1936-1938)
  • 200 Hit Seasons: 2 (1934 & 1936)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bill Johnson: "Hal Trosky", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 113-118. ISBN 978-1-933599-76-2

Related Sites[edit]