Hofman was the slick centerfielder and general handyman for the four Cub pennant-winners
of 1906-08 and 1910. His teammates'P(((called him Circus Solly because of his many
"circus" catches in the outfield. Hofman was a timely hitter and good baserunner.
His best season was 1910 when he hit .325 and had 86 RBI.
In the "Merkle Boner"
game of 1908 against the Giants, it was Hofman who retrieved Al Bridwell's single
and called to second baseman Johnny Evers that Merkle had failed to touch second.
His throw from the outfield sailed over Evers' head but was eventually retrieved
for the forceout that ended the game in a tie. The Cubs won the makeup game and the
pennant. According to baseball historian Paddy Keough, a friend of Hofman, the throw
got past Evers because Circus Solly could not resist clowning, even on that crucial
play, and threw a curveball to Evers.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»October 18, 1908: Four days after the finish of the World Series, the two teams meet again in Chicago for an exhibition game (as noted by historian Al Kermisch). The game outdraws the last series game in Detroit, as 6,864 watch the Tigers win, 7–2. In a pregame field day, Ty Cobb wins all three sprint events: he bunts and runs to 1B in 3.2 seconds, beating Evers, Mordecai Brown, and Del Howard. He circles the bases in 13.8 seconds and, clad in uniform, wins the 100-yard dash in 10.4 seconds, beating Jones and Solly Hofman in the latter. Hofman wins the long throw with a toss of 338 feet, besting Sam Crawford.
»August 23, 1909:
It's a day for thievery as the Cubs steal home three times in a game at Boston, tying a ML mark. They waste no time, as Johnny Evers and Del Howard do it in the first inning, and Solly Hofman in the 2nd. Chicago wins, 11-6.
»June 24, 1910: In eight innings in the field at Pittsburgh, Cubs 1B Artie Hofman sets an NL record with no putouts. His only assist opportunity is fumbled for an error as Chicago loses, 6–5.
»May 22, 1912:
In an attempt to shake up the team, the Pirates send veteran Tommy Leach and pitcher Lefty Leifield to Chicago for 29-year-old Solly Hofman and pitcher King Cole. Cole, 40–13 in 2+ years of pitching, will be a no show, eventually pitching in just 17 games for Pittsburgh before ending his career with the Highlanders.
»September 20, 1925: In Cleveland, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland old-timers play a 6–6, 8-inning tie. The lineups include Three Finger Brown, Jimmy Archer Artie Hofman, Mort Scanlan and Dutch Meier for Chicago; For Cleveland, Larry Nap Lajoie, Dode Paskert, Chief Zimmer, Cy Berger, Cy Young, and Joe Delahanty. The game benefits the Amateur and Old-timer's Baseball Association of Cleveland: "This association employs a doctor to look after the injuries of any boy hurt in baseball in that district." Before boarding the train for Cleveland, Brown throws batting practice for the Cubs at Chicago.