New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Hal Chase

Hal Chase (Baseball.  Born, Los Gatos, CA, Feb. 13, 1883; died, Colusa, CA, May 18, 1947.)  A brilliant defensive first baseman, a solid hitter, and a thoroughly unsavory character, Harold Homer Chase played parts of nine seasons with the Yankees (then known as the Highlanders) and managed them for a bit over a season.  Chase is said to be the first to play off the bag and still make all the plays at first base.  After playing with Los Angeles in the Pacific Coast League in 1904, Chase joined the Highlanders in 1905.  The next season, he hit .323, but by 1908 he was a clubhouse problem, reportedly undermining manager Clark Griffith, who left.  On Aug. 15, 1908, Chase jumped the club and played for Stockton, Calif., in an “outlaw” league.  He was fined $200 and reinstated.  Despite rumors of betting coups and connections to gamblers, Chase became the manager in the closing days of the 1910 season.  Dropped as manager after one season (and a sixth-place finish), he sulked and was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 1913.  Jumping to the Federal League in 1914, he triggered lawsuits but returned to the majors, only to be accused of throwing games.  He was later implicated in the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919 when his career ended.  In 1907, Chase had a 33-game hitting streak, a club record until 1941, when it was surpassed by Joe DiMaggio.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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