Frank Leroy Chance (September 9, 1877 – September 15, 1924) was a Major League Baseball player at the turn of the 20th century. Performing the roles of first baseman and manager, Chance led the Chicago Cubs to four National League championships in the span of five years (1906-1910) and earned the nickname "The Peerless Leader". He was one of the fastest players to play 1st base and was regularly among the leaders in stolen bases.
Born in Fresno, California, Chance began his career in 1898 with the Chicago Cubs and played irregularly until 1902. In 1903 he asserted himself with a .327 batting average, 67 stolen bases and 81 RBI in 441 at-bats. Chance was placed at 1st base by Manager Frank Selee, who Chance succeeded during the 1905 season. Chance was the first player ever ejected from a World Series game, doing so in Game 3 of the 1910 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics.
He was part of the infield trio remembered in "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," a poem by newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams first published in 1910 and also known as "Tinker to Evers to Chance." (Harry Steinfeldt was the 3rd baseman during the pennant years).
Chance took over as Chicago's manager in 1905, taking the helm of a very good team. Although his playing time decreased towards the end of the decade, as a manager he proved inspirational. The Cubs won the NL pennant in 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1910 and won the World Series in 1907 and 1908. He left the Cubs after the 1912 season to manage the New York Yankees, which he did for two seasons. He returned to his native California, and owned and managed the Los Angeles (Pacific Coast League) team in 1916-17. After a brief retirement, he returned to coach the Boston Red Sox in 1923 before retiring for good. His nickname as a manager was "the Peerless Leader," and his lifetime record as a manager was 946-648.
He died at age 48. He is interred in the Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, California. Chance was the 1st of the DP combination to die (1924. Johnny Evers died in 1947, and Joe Tinker died in 1948. Third-baseman Harry Steinfeldt had died in 1914.
- List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
- List of Major League Baseball stolen base champions
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 stolen bases
- The Editors of Total Baseball (2000). Baseball:The Biographical Encyclopedia. Sports Illustrated, pp. 191-192.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Baseball-reference.com – Major league career managerial statistics
- baseballhalloffame.org – Hall of Fame biography page
Art Devlin & Billy Maloney
|National League Stolen Base Champion|
1903 (with Jimmy Sheckard)
|Chicago Cubs Manager|
|New York Yankees Manager|
|Boston Red Sox Manager|
|New York Yankees Managers|