The Obit For Hank Sauer


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Hank Sauer, the 1952 NL MVP and a two-time All-Star outfielder with the Chicago Cubs, died Friday on a golf course. He was 84.

Sauer was on the first tee at the Crystal Springs Golf Club in Burlingame, Calif., when he died. The cause of death was unknown pending the results of an autopsy.

Sauer was the first player in major league history to win an MVP while on a team that finished in the second division.

In 1952, he topped the NL with 121 RBIs and tied Ralph Kiner for the lead league in home runs with 37. Despite his slugging, the Cubs went 77-77 and finished fifth among eight teams.

Sauer hit .266 with 288 home runs and 876 RBIs in a 15-year career with Cincinnati, the Cubs, St. Louis and the Giants. He was an original member of the 1958 San Francisco Giants, and retired after the 1959 season.

``It was shocking. Hank was a good man,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker said Friday night.

``He came around quite often. We just saw him on the field about a month ago,'' he said.

Sauer was the first player in major league history to twice hit three home runs in a game off the same pitcher. He did it against Philadelphia's Curt Simmons on Aug. 28, 1950, and again on June 11, 1952.

Sauer was an All-Star in his first year with the Cubs in 1950 and also in 1952. In 1954, he hit .288 with a career-high 41 homers and 103 RBIs.

After he retired, Sauer stayed in baseball in several capacities until 1993. He was a scout and a coach in the Giants' organization.

Sauer's brother, Ed, played for the Cubs, Cardinals and Boston Braves between 1943 and 1949.

Plans for a memorial service were pending.