Frank Chance was an integral part of back-to-back championship teams for the Chicago Cubs. On the field first baseman in the famed double play combination of Joe Tinker to Johnny Evers to Frank Chance.
The Cubs “Peerless Leader”, Chance was player-manager from 1905-1912. Serving in both capacities, he helped the Cubs win four NL pennants, highlighted by back-to-back World Series triumphs in 1907 and 1908.
In his 17-year playing career Chance posted a .394 on-base percentage and 403 stolen bases.
Chance hit an even .300 with a .402 on-base percentage in 20 World Series games. In the ’08 Fall Classic, Chance hit .421 and reached base in half of his 22 plate appearances in the 5-game triumph over Detroit.
Chance’s final World Series with the Cubs came in 1910. In Game 3 Chance became the first skipper ejected from the postseason when Hall of Fame umpire Tommy Connolly gave him the thumb.
Though his Cubs won only one game, Chance did his part. He hit .353 with two extra-base hits and four runs batted in.
It was as manager that he found the greatest success. In his 8 seasons piloting the Cubs, Chances teams recorded a .664 winning percentage. Chicago finished first four times, second and third twice each. With four trips to the Fall Classic and two rings, Chance is the greatest skipper in Chicago history.
The Cubs released Chance in 1912 and the Yankees hired him as manager in 1913. He was also named captain of the team. The 1914 season was his last as a player. He resigned as Yankee skipper at the end of the season.
After a year off, Chance returned to baseball in the Pacific Coast League. Then in 1923, the 46-year old Chance made his way back to the majors as manager of the Red Sox.
After one season in Boston, Chance was hired by Charles Comiskey as field boss of the White Sox in ’24. Poor health prevented him from taking the helm. Chance died in September at age 48.
Chance was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946.