All-Time Indians: Johnny Hodapp

Name: Urban John Hodapp       Position: Second Base
Tribe Time: 1925-1932           Number: 4        
Accolades: Top 22 MVP 1928   DOB: 09/26/1905
Stats G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG OPS
Best Season (1930) 154 635 111 225 51 8 9 121 319 32 29 6 5 .386 .502 .354 .888
Career 608 2237 302 711 134 29 22 355 969 119 119 16 19 .345 .433 .318 .778

In 1924, Bill Wambsganss, one of the greatest Indians second basemen of all time, was traded to the Red Sox, leaving a glaring hole at second base that the Indians were not able fill for five years, when Johnny Hodapp took over. Four different starters tried their luck at the position during that span in the 1920's, but none stuck until Hodapp moved from third base across the diamond to take over second.

Hodapp was an above average hitter for his entire career with the Indians and batted above .300 each year from 1927 through 1930 including a career high .354 in the final year of that stretch. That year was by far the best of his career and one of the best ever by an Indian. His 225 hits were the American League high and remain a top five mark in Indians history while his 51 doubles rank in the top ten. Only Ed Morgan was a more valuable player on the Indians that year, batting .349 with 26 home runs and 136 RBI. No MVP award was awarded that season, but if one had been, both Morgan and Hodapp, along with Wes Ferrell would have received votes behind the player who should have won, Babe Ruth.

The Indians have not had very many long term second basemen during the franchise history (just eight with more than 500 games played at that position), but Hodapp was one of the best. He ranks in the top ten among second basemen in almost every counting stat and his .318 career average is just second to Roberto Alomar.

Hodapp only played one more full season after that great 1930 season and his average dropped below .300 for the first time as a starter. The Indians had acquired a superstar in the making in 22 year old Odell Hale, making Hodapp expendable and he was moved in April of 1932 along with Bob Seeds to the Chicago White Sox for his immediate replacement, Bill Cissell and Jim Moore. Neither of those two players did anything spectacular for the Indians, but Hale became the second best second baseman in Indians history at the time.

Hodapp didn't stay long in Chicago as he was packaged with Seeds again, this time going to the Red Sox. After the 1933 season in Boston, he was signed by the Cardinals, but never made it past AA Columbus and he retired after 1934. Johnny Hodapp died in his home town of Cincinnati in 1980 at the age of 74.

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona.

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