Hal Chase (February 13, 1883 in Los Gatos, California - May 18, 1947 in Colusa, California), nicknamed "Prince Hal", was a first baseman in Major League Baseball, widely viewed as the best fielder at his position, who was banned from baseball for corruption. During his career, he played for the New York Highlanders (1910-1913), Chicago White Sox (1913-1914), Buffalo Buffeds (1914-1915), Cincinnati Reds (1916-1918), and New York Giants (1919).
There is little doubt that Chase was an excellent player. No lesser figures than Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson named him the best first baseman ever, and contemporary reports describe his glovework as outstanding. However, despite being an excellent hitter and peerless defensive player, Chase seemed to personify the corruption of the sport in the period before the Black Sox scandal. Starting from 1910, allegations of corruption surrounded him. That year, he was accused of throwing games by manager George Stallings, after Chase resented Stallings' appointment in preference to himself. Three years later, the charge was repeated by his new manager, Frank Chance, who solved the problem by trading him to the White Sox.
Following a spell in the short lived Federal League, he went to the Reds of the National League. After Buck Herzog was fired as Reds manager in 1917, Chase was again passed over again for management in favor of Christy Mathewson. Midway through the 1918 season, Mathewson suspended Chase, again on suspicion of throwing games, and sold him to John McGraw's Giants at the season's end. With the Giants, Chase teamed up with like-minded Heinie Zimmerman and Jean Dubuc, who were also believed to have thrown games for money, before McGraw sent them all home midway through the 1919 season. He never played another inning in the major leagues.
In addition to the accusations of his managers, Chase was known to consort with gamblers and was believed to have bet against his own team on a number of occasions. Although it is questionable whether he was involved in fixing the 1919 World Series, it is likely that he knew of it, and he won $40,000 betting on the Reds. In 1921, the weight of evidence of his corruption led to him receiving a lifetime ban from baseball from Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. According to some historians, he had already been informally banned from baseball in 1919.