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Baseball Star Rogers Hornsby is Dead

Jan. 5, 1963 - Baseball great Rogers Hornsby died this morning of a heart attack at the age of 66. Hornsby was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1942. The man known as “The Rajah” was hired and fired as manager by five major league clubs. He was considered by many as the greatest right-handed hitter in baseball history with a lifetime batting average of .358. He batted over .400 in successive years — a modern record of .424 in 1924 with the St. Louis Cardinals and .403 in 1925. Hornsby was a rugged individualist and a man who walked alone. He shunned social gatherings — even the company of other ballplayers. One of his most remarkable achievements was winning the National League’s Most Valuable Player award in 1920 with the Cardinals after going through the season with a painfully injured heel. He kept it a secret from everyone except his manager and trainer. When it finally became known, Hornsby said: “There wasn’t any use telling the world about my sore foot. The ball club needed me, and it was up to me to get around the best way possible.” When the Giants faced the Yankees for the first time in the World Series of 1921, Giant manager John McGraw brushed aside questions about Babe Ruth. “Why should I worry about Ruth?” he challenged. “We’ve had to pitch for years against a far better hitter than Ruth — Rogers Hornsby.”


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