Stan Hack played his entire 16 year career with the Chicago Cubs. The third baseman was not a power hitter by any stretch of the imagination. But few were during the time he played. Hack was a 4 time all star and the fact that he finished in the top 26 in the National League MVP voting 8 years in a row proves that he was one of the top third basemen, if not overall position players, in the entire National League. A .301 career hitter, Stan had 2193 career hits, 1239 career runs scored and despite just 165 career stolen bases, he twice led the NL and managed to finish 2nd three other times during his career. In the years of 1940 and 1941, Hack led the NL in hits.
The lack of not just home run hitting ability (more triples, 81, than home runs, 57) but also the fact that he did not have a lot of extra base hits is likely the main reason Stan Hack has not gotten a lot of Hall of Fame consideration. His numbers overall are not Hall of Fame worthy. That being a fact, he was still one of the top third basemen of his era. When Hack retired after the 1947 season, he had recorded the highest on base percentage for a 3B in the history in MLB at .394 (surpassed in 2001 by Atlanta's Chipper Jones). He also had more walks than any other 3B to ever play before him and ranked 4th in the history of MLB in the stat when he retired.
Pittsburgh Pirates 3B and Hall of Famer Pie Traynor set the standard for what was the bar in regards to 3B. Traynor's career was nearing the end when Hack's was beginning. Traynor finished his career with 2416 hits and hit .320 for his career. He hit only 58 HR and his career OPS was .797. Hack's was .791. What Traynor lacked in OBP he made up for in slugging percentage, as he finished his career with 371 2B, 165 3B to go with the 58 HR. Hack finished with 363, 81, 57- a total of 93 less extra base hits than Traynor had. Hack walked 1092 times to Traynor's 472, which explains why the OPSs are so similar. Add in the fact that Hack only struck out 466 times in his 16 year career, the term "hack" does not fit in with his last name.
The point is that Hack and Traynor were the top offensive 3B of their time. Ron Santo and Ken Boyer would hit for more power while manning the position and of course, Eddie Mathews and Mike Schmidt would take the offensive expectations to a different level. Looking back at where Hack ranked when he retired, he does deserve a little more credit for being as good of an offensive player he was. He was good defensively, but not exceptional, though he led the NL in fielding percentage twice, range factor twice, double plays turned three times, putouts four times and assists twice in his career. Is Stan Hack an all time 3B? Of course not. But he was one of the NL's top third basemen in the history of the game at the time he retired in 1947. In addition, he played in 4 World Series and managed to hit .348, including a .471 clip in 1938 against the Yankees. Because of the fact the offensive production expected out of a 3B has risen over the years, there is a chance many of the contemporary baseball fans may not know the impact Stan Hack had on the game of baseball.