Frank Chance Essentials

Bats: R Throws: R
Weight: 190
Born: Year: 1876 in Fresno, CA USA
Died: 9 15 1924 in Los Angeles, CA USA
Debut: 1898-04-29
Last Game: 4/21/1914
Hall of Fame: Inducted as a Player in 1946 by Old Timers
Full Name: Frank Leroy Chance

Frank Chance, the “Peerless Leader.” Perhaps the most respected man in the game during his time, Chance helmed one of baseball’s greatest ships: The 1906–1910 Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs, with Joe Tinker, John Evers, and Chance (and superb pitching led by Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown), win four pennants and two World Series in five years, compiling the highest one-, two-, three-, four- and five-year winning percentages in baseball history (with the 1906 club famously going 116–36, for a .763 winning percentage). Much of the credit is given to Chance, who in addition to managing the club was also among the best first basemen in the game. His exploits placed him among the most famous and revered personalities in professional sport.

Far-and-away the best hitter of the famed “Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance trio, Chance holds an obscure-but-fun record that will likely stand forever: His 67 stolen bases in 1903 is the single-season record for first basemen. He also holds the career SB mark for the position with 376 (403 total SB, some coming as a catcher and outfielder). And his game wasn’t just speed: Chance owns a fine .394 OBP, and an adjusted OPS of 135+. He was also know for his tough, uncompromising (some say dirty) style of play, and hairline temper: He might hold the unofficial record for punches thrown by a major-league manager.

The Peerless Leader’s time in Chicago met a callous, ignoble end in 1912: Despite leading a depleted squad to a fine 91-59 record (good for a third-place finish), Chance is fired while lying prostrate in a hospital bed, recovering from brain surgery (the result of multiple beanings). Team owner Charles W. Murphy replaces Chance with teammate John Evers—who lasts all of one season as manager before Murphy fires him (and subsequently slanders Evers in an attempt to avoid paying the remainder of his contract).

Chance would recover from his grievous injuries and return to the dugout to manage the Yankees (19313-1914) and Red Sox (1923) for three desultory seasons. He died in 1924, after battling a range of illness possibly related to a bout of severe influenza. He was 47.

Chance was posthumously inducted into the HOF with teammates Tinker and Evers in 1946.