Sunday, March 13, 2011

WSC Vintage: Hal Chase

Card #36 - Hal Chase

"Prince Hal" was perhaps the first true superstar of the Yankees club. Many players have said that Hal was the best defensive first baseman they had ever seen. His bat wasn't too shabby either.

His abrasive attitude and cocky nature wore thin on his fellow teammates. Eventually, his nefarious ways brought him a trade to Chicago during the 1913 season. In 1914, he successfully terminated his contract with Chicago by using a "ten day clause". Intended to notify players of the upcoming release of their contract, Chase decided it could work the other way. After going through the courts, the judge sided with Hal, and he ended up playing in the newly formed Federal League.

Chase was known as a notorious gambler and was accused of betting on baseball and was thought to have engaged in suspicious behavior during some games in which he played. There have also been reports of Chase paying off players and umpires. It is said, but not proven, that Hal was the middleman between the gamblers and the members of the 1919 White Sox.

While Chase was never banned from baseball, he was blacklisted. There were several attempts taken to discourage his continued involvement in professional baseball by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and Ban Johnson. Before Hal's death, he did express remorse about betting on baseball, but insisted that he never bet against his own team.

1 comment:

LoCoDe said...

Great card. A great book could be written about Chase.

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