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Henry John "Hank" Sauer (March 17, 1917 - August 24, 2001) was a left fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1941 through 1959, Sauer played for the Cincinnati Reds (1941–42, 1945, 1948–49), Chicago Cubs (1949–55), St. Louis Cardinals (1956), New York Giants (1957) and San Francisco Giants (1958-59). He batted and threw right-handed.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sauer started his majors career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1941, and was traded to the Chicago Cubs in the 1949 midseason.
A two-time All-Star, Sauer was a feared slugger for the Cubs in the early 1950s, hitting over 30 home runs in six seasons, with a career-high 41 in 1954. His most productive season came in 1952, when he led the National League in home runs (37) and RBIs (121), and was named the Most Valuable Player.
During a time when the Cubs were especially moribund, Sauer provided some joy for Cubs fans with his power-hitting. He was well known for using smokeless tobacco, and it has often been reported that after he hit a home run, when he returned to his left field position, bleacher fans might shower him with packets of his favorite chew.
Sauer was not especially fleet afoot. In contrast to radio's "Quiz Kids" or the 1950 Phillies "Whiz Kids", according to Chicago columnist Mike Royko the 1950s Cubs had an outfield "that was so slow they were known as the Quicksand Kids." Sauer, Frank Baumholtz and Ralph Kiner played left, center and right fields respectively. (One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko, University of Chicago, 1999, p. 29-31)
In 1955, Sauer tried to hold out for a bigger contract for the Cubs, but was released. A year later, he played with the Cardinals and finished with the Giants in 1959.
Sauer died in Burlingame, California at age of 84.
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game
|National League Most Valuable Player|
|National League Home Run Champion|
(with Ralph Kiner)
|National League RBI Champion|