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Chuck Klein
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Baseball Player
    (October 7, 1904-March 28, 1958)
    Born in Indianapolis, Indiana
    Birth name was Charles Herbert Klein
    Outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies (1928-33,1936-39,1940-44), Chicago Cubs (1934-36) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1939)
    .320 career batting average
    300 home runs
    1,201 runs batted in
    Two-time All-Star (1933-34)
    National League MVP (1932)
    Nicknamed ‘the Hoosier Hammer’
    Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee (1980)
    In the 1929 season, he and Mel Ott of the New York Giants were leading the National League tied at 42 home runs when their teams met in a season-ending double header. After Klein hit a home run in the first game, the Phillies pitchers ensured that he would win the home run title by walking Ott every time he came to the plate, including once with the bases loaded.
    He predicted that he would be the first National League player to hit 50 home runs in a season. Although he would win three more home run titles, he never again equaled the 43 he hit in 1929.
    Detractors of his inclusion in the Hall of Fame argue that his stats were inflated by playing much of his career in Philadelphia’s hitter-friendly Baker Bowl. (For example, during his first stint with the Phillies, he hit .420 at home and .296 on the road. He also hit 131 home runs at home and just 60 in away games.)
    Warning to memorabilia collectors: after he suffered a stroke a few years into his retirement, fan letters requesting autographs were usually fulfilled by his brother forging Chuck’s name.
    He credited working in a steel mill with developing his physical strength. (‘There is one thing I can say about working in a steel mill. If it does not kill you, it will make a man out of you.’)
    He won baseball’s Triple Crown, leading the National League in batting average, home runs and RBIs (1933).
    He was the only player of the post-1920 ‘live ball’ era to lead the league in both home runs and stolen bases (38 home runs and 20 steals in 1932).
    He is one of only 16 players to hit four home runs in a game (July 10, 1936).

Credit: C. Fishel

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