Henry John Sauer
>> Visit the Hank Sauer biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Hank Sauer didn't make it to the major leagues on a regular basis until he was 31 years old. Once he made it there though, he put together several successful years.
Sauer's first appearance in MLB came in 1941 with the Reds. He appeared in just nine games. In 1942, he reappeared to play seven games for Cincinnati. In 1944-45, Sauer served in the military and resurfaced at the end of 1945 to play in 31 games, hitting 5 home runs and driving in 20 runs.
Following his limited success he returned to the minors until 1948. In his first full season in the majors, Sauer hit .293 with 35 home runs and 97 runs.
Sauer's success from 1948 stalled out early in the 1949 season. After hitting .237 in 42 games, Sauer was traded by the Reds to the Cubs.
He instantly found success. In his first month in Chicago, Sauer hit 11 home runs and, over the rest of the season, he hit .291 for the Cubs. Between the Reds and the Cubs, he hit 31 home runs and drove in 99 runs.
He continued his success in 1950 and 1951 with 32 and 30 home runs respectively. He drove in 103 runs in 1950 and 89 in 1951.
The 1952 season marked Sauer's best in the majors. He led the National League with 121 RBI and tied Pittsburgh's Ralph Kiner with 37 home runs. The numbers earned Sauer the National League MVP.
His follow-up season was cut short by a broken finger. In 108 games, Kiner hit 19 home runs and drove in 60 runs while batting .263. He returned to form in 1953 and hit .288 with 41 home runs.
Following 1953, Sauer's career began to decline. He did rebound somewhat in 1957 with the New York Giants, hitting 26 home runs and driving in 76 runs.
Philadelphia's Curt Simmons helped Sauer to accomplish a feat no other batter had at the time. Sauer had two three-HR games off Simmons, one in 1950 and another in 1952.
His brother, Ed, played major league baseball between 1943 and 1949.