Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Hack's 191: Hack Wilson And His Incredible 1930 Season Hardcover – January 24, 2012
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“I have long been fascinated by Hack Wilson, and his underappreciated RBI record. In Hack’s 191, Bill Chastain marvelously explains both the man and the mark. I learned something on every page.”
—Tim Kurkjian, senior writer, ESPN The Magazine
“Hack’s 191 is a fascinating inside look at not only the 1930 season but also one of the most intriguing, overlooked characters the game has known. Bill Chastain captures the brawling times of Al Capone’s prohibition-era Chicago and the barrel-shaped ballplayers who lived large during it. He also gives us a detailed look at a season that helped create arguably baseball’s most unapproachable record, a season that changed the course of the game.”
—Dave van Dyck, Chicago Tribune
“Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played, Pete Rose’s 4,256 career hits. . . . These records may never be broken. The mark least talked about is the record for runs batted in during a season. As a former Major League Baseball player and lifelong fan, I consider Hack Wilson’s 191 RBIs in 1930 to be one of the most amazing achievements in the history of the game. Bill Chastain does an incredible job of taking us back to that magical season. I felt like I was there watching the games at Wrigley Field or enjoying the speakeasy nightlife with Wilson and his Prohibition-era Cubs fans.”
—Tino Martinez, baseball broadcaster, former Major League All-Star
“Hack Wilson’s personality and habits—at the ballpark and away—had always intrigued me, as had his record of 191 RBIs in one season, which is an amazing feat and a record that will not likely be broken. Bill Chastain’s fascinating account of that season brings to life Wilson and the city of Chicago during a raucous period complete with gangsters and speakeasies.”
—Joe Maddon, manager, Tampa Bay Rays
From the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Wilson clouted 56 homers that season, erasing Chuck Klein National League record of 43 and challenging Babe Ruth's mark of 60. His home run effort drew more attention than his RBI production. The RBI didn't become an official stat until 1920.
Despite a season or two of glory, Hack Wilson was one of baseball's most tragic figures. He was a functional alcoholic, a flawed hero, someone who was once described as "a wayward soul headed in the wrong direction on a one-way street."
At 5-foot-6 and 195 pounds, Wilson didn't look like a ballplayer. He wore a size six shoe, but wore a size 18 collar. Author Bill Chastain says Wilson "stuck out like a pit bull in a poodle show."
Although Wilson batted .471 in the 1929 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics, he earned the goat horns as he lost two balls in the sun. He was humiliated by the errors and was forever tagged with the sarcastic nickname "Sunny Boy."
Chastain sets the stage for the 1930 season by recounting the 1929 season and some of the Cubs' major players--Manager Joe McCarthy, infielder Rogers Hornsby and Cubs' owner William Wrigley. McCarthy understood Wilson better than anyone else and he was able to get the maximum out of his talent. Hornsby was despised by his teammates, often tried to undermine McCarthy (eventually ousting him) and poisoned the clubhouse.Read more ›
The first half of the book sets the groundwork, discussing Hack's "Sunny Boy" miscue in the 1929 World Series, as well as such important Cubs figures at the time as manager Joe McCarthy and polarizing personality Rogers Hornsby.
After that, the book does a month-by-month description of Hack's 1930 season.
For fans of baseball history, this book will automatically be a decent read for the amount of research put into it. Though countless books have been published about the Ruths or Gehrigs of the similar era, there is a bit of a gap in terms of Hack Wilson considering the fact that he did set the all-time RBI record that still stands to this day. Thus, even for relatively seasoned baseball historians, "Hack's 191" may contain some stories or information that hasn't been unearthed in quite a long period of time.
However, the main attribute of the book that renders it little above average is that it can be so dry at times. While reading (and learning quite a bit), I never felt as if I were truly drawn into Hack's record-setting season. I think the problem stems from the fact that the book almost tries to do a bit too much in terms of scope. It tries to be a history lesson, a character study, a biography, a "story of the times", and a "thriller" ("Hack's RBI heroics"), but ultimately doesn't shine on any of those fronts.
Thus, while I would recommend this to the hardcore fans of baseball history who already have a working knowledge of the events/people, those who don't have a studied interest in the topic might want to look elsewhere.
a little more detail on Wilson's game to game stats, maybe a chart if that is possible. At times the author skipped game information such as talking about a game which moved Wilson to 176 RBI then a few paragraphs later he has 182 RBI, what happened in between? I did like the chapter on the struggle to get the record corrected. The book does show what a difference a manager can make in the confidence of a player and how much it can affect his performance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I always wanted to read a book on Hack Wilson. He reminds you of Roger Maris, had several good years then a unreal season where everything goes great. Read morePublished 6 months ago by k.c. state
I like baseball history, so this was an interesting book to me. It has plenty of biography and plenty of baseball history and the reader is able to follow Hack Wilson's huge 1930... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Frankly Frank
Chastain has done a great job relating details on the life of a incomparable & tragic baseball hero. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sourdoe Bill
As an avid baseball fan, I was looking forward to reading about the man who holds what may be the sport's most unreachable record. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Review King
I enjoyed learning about this time in baseball history and also insights into human nature.Published 15 months ago by Matthew M Bushman
It's not often one comes across a book where it doesn't actually get good until the final few chapters, but sadly that's how it is with Bill Chastain's "Hack's 191. Read morePublished 16 months ago by absinthe