“No other player in baseball history was so richly praised for his defensive skill – no one. His (Hal Chase) brilliance with the glove is easier to document than Ty Cobb’s temper, Hack Wilson’s drinking or Walter Johnson’s fastball; it is all over the literature of the sport.”
Author Bill James, The New Boll James Baseball Abstract
“For all the things that have been charged against Chase, the fans cannot help remembering his astonishing fielding feats around first. ‘Prince Hal’ could do things with his hands that no other first baseman of the past decade has even attempted. He had wonderful natural grace, and amazing speed in covering ground. Without a thought of attempting anything fancy, he would make one-handed grabs that left the spectators speechless… Chase had a baseball brain that worked with his hands. It is doubtful if a smarter player, using smart strictly in a baseball sense, ever wore cleats. At times he was well nigh uncanny.”
Sportswriter Damon Runyon, The New York American, July 21, 1921
Gehrig had more power and could run. In time he became a good major league first baseman. But the Prince (Hal Chase) was also a very fine hitter who played his entire career before the ball was juiced up. He couldn’t run, he could fly. And aside from Ty Cobb, he was the best baserunner I ever saw. Fielding, are you kidding? Prince Hal was the greatest fielding first baseman that ever played. He was worth the price of admission just to watch him toe-dance around first base and pick those wild throws out of the dirt.”
Babe Ruth, 1948