Chuck Klein

Charles Herbert Klein
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1980
Primary team: Philadelphia Phillies
Primary position: Right Fielder

“One of the reasons I’ve been able to play baseball well is because it’s fun for me,” Chuck Klein said. “Many players find it work.”

For 17 years, Klein excelled at the game he found so much fun. He spent 15 years as the Philadelphia Phillies right fielder where he was an offensive force. He was named National League MVP in 1932 and followed that performance by winning the Triple Crown in 1933. He was also an All-Star in 1933 and 1934.

Throughout his career in Philadelphia, Klein took advantage of the short right field fence in the Baker Bowl. On defense, he would often turn would-be singles into outs at first base by playing very shallow. In 1930, Klein had 44 outfield assists, a record he still holds.

The Baker Bowl also likely served to inflate his offensive numbers, as displayed in his two subpar seasons with the Chicago Cubs. But with the Phillies, Klein was one of the most dominant NL hitters of the era. In 1929, his first full season, Klein led the league with 43 home runs. Only Babe Ruth, with 46, hit more home runs in all of baseball.

Though Klein would go on to lead the National League in home runs three more times and finish his career with 300 home runs, he wasn’t just a power hitter. Klein was a career .320 hitter and hit .386 in 1930, a career high. Had an MVP been awarded in 1930, Klein likely would have been a favorite as he hit 40 home runs, had 170 RBIs and led all of baseball with 158 runs scored.

Klein was traded to the Cubs before the 1934 season and was an All-Star that summer. The next year, he would help the Cubs to the World Series, where they lost to the Tigers. In Klein’s only trip to the Fall Classic, he hit .333 with a home run.

Klein returned to Philadelphia in 1936 and in his first game back with the Phillies became the first National Leaguer to hit four home runs in a game in the modern era. He remained in Philadelphia for the rest of his career, save for a brief interlude with the Pirates in 1939.

The Phillies retired Klein’s number, though because he wore several numbers during his career he received the same honor as players who played before numbers were used. He died in 1958 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980.

“Chuck was a real nice guy and strong, very, very strong,” Hall of Fame second baseman Billy Herman said. “And a hell of a competitor.”

"Chuck was a real nice guy and strong, very, very strong. And a hell of a competitor. "
Billy Herman

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1980
Primary Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position Played: Right Fielder
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Birth place: Indianapolis, Indiana
Birth year: 1904
Died: 1958, Indianapolis, Indiana
Played for:
Philadelphia Phillies (1928-1933)
Philadelphia Phillies (1936-1944)
Chicago Cubs (1934-1936)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1939)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
1753
At BatsAB
6486
RunsR
1168
HitsH
2076
Doubles2B
398
Triples3B
74
Home RunsHR
300
RBIRBI
1201
Stolen BasesSB
79
WalksBB
601
Batting AverageBA
.320
OPSOPS
.922
On Base %OBP
.379
Slugging %SLG
.543