John Bernard “Hans” Lobert
Born: October 18, 1881 - Wilmington, DE
Died: September 14, 1968 - Philadelphia, PA
Career BA: .274
Managerial Record: 42–111
Pittsburgh Pirates NL (1903)
Chicago Cubs NL (1905)
Cincinnati Reds NL (1906–1910)
Philadelphia Phillies NL (1911–1914; manager: 1938, 1942)
New York Giants NL (1915–1917)
Known for his offensive prowess as well as his blazing speed. Hans Lobert was considered one of the fastest players of the Deadball Era. Over his 14-year career he batted over .300 on four occasions, and stole 316 bases. Defensively, he was very good with a tremendous arm. As a third baseman, he led the league in putouts in 1911 and 1913; and in fielding percentage when he posted .974 in 1913.
Purely from the speed perspective, legend has it that Lobert actually raced a thoroughbred before a game and also beat the legendary Jim Thorpe in a 100 yard dash. Dubbed “Hans Number 2” during his rookie year with the Pirates by teammate Honus Wagner (“Hans Number 1”), Lobert did not last long with the Pirates, but the nickname stayed with him for life. His best days were with the A’s, although he did have some successful campaigns with the Reds. By the time he reached the Giants his better playing days were behind him. Plagued by a knee injury, his last two years as a player were not productive.
After he retired, Lobert had eight good seasons at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as baseball coach, followed by management stints in the Eastern League and the International League. He returned to the Bigs to manage the Phillies for two games in 1938 going 0–2, and had one full, but dismal, season managing them in 1942, posting a 42–109 record. Lobert went on to spend many years in professional baseball serving as a scout for the Giants right up until his death at the age of 86.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html