A rare 1930 Chicago Cubs jersey worn by celebrated slugger Hack Wilson (1900-1948) realised $382,812 at Goldin Auctions over the weekend.
Hack’s real name was Lewis Robert Wilson.
There are a number of origins given for his nickname.
Hack Wilson was a dynamo on the field
One has New York Giants manager John McGraw describing him as being built like a taxi (Hack was a 1930s colloquialism for a cab at the time).
This is echoed by sports writer Shirley Povich, who wrote of Wilson that he was “built along the lines of a beer keg, and was not wholly unfamiliar with its contents."
Although he was short and stocky, Hack was a dynamo on the field and still holds the record for single season Runs Batted In (RBI) to this day.
The 1930 season was his best, and one of the best in the sport’s history. He achieved a .356 batting average, in addition to 56 home runs.
Unfortunately Hack’s hard partying lifestyle got the better of him. The following year his performance dropped dramatically and the Cubs sold him to the St Louis Cardinals.
He spent the next few years being passed around various teams before retiring in 1934.
The auction house explains: “The ebullient slugger embodied everything decadent about 1920’s Chicago, and his nightlife antics made him as much of a star as his on-field heroics did…
“Because of Hack’s quick rise and even quicker fall, any game used pieces are extremely sought after.”
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