The Short, Unhappy Life of Charlie Hollocher

In 1918 the Cubs won the NL pennant in a war torn season that would end early. One of the main reasons they won was a rookie SS named Charlie Hollocher.

Unless you have read Sean Devaneys book, The Original Curse, you may not know who Charlie Hollocher is. Indeed, he may very well be the greatest Cub player that you have never heard of. He spent 7 years in the major leagues, hitting for a .304 career average. He had 200 hits in one season, cracked the .400 OBP barrier twice as well as from what I can gather, was a pretty decent defensive player. However he only played 130 games in a season 3 times. The question is, why? Why didnt he have a longer career, why didnt he put up bigger numbers when he could have? Well, he was plagued with stomach pains for most of his career.  However, doctors could never find a physical reason for the pains. I think he probaly attempted to find an answer, but apparently never found one. Was it all in his head? Who knows. Perhaps with the technology of today they couldve found an answer. I just think if someone says they are in pain, unless they are a proven hypochondriac, I would believe them. Sadly it affected his ability to play regularly and he would quit several times before retiring permanently in 1924. 

He would be plagued by these pains for the rest of his life, which would end in frustration on August 14, 1940 with his committing suicide. It is sad because Cubs fans would be robbed of an opportunity to see what may have been the career of one of the greatest players in team history, certainly he would be known as possibly the greatest SS with Ernie Banks taking a back seat. 

If you are interested in more details on Hollocher, there is an excellent SABR article written by Arthur Ahrens

check it out here:

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