Introducing… Hal Schumacher

Prince Hal was able to rack up 158 wins over his career but was denied his chance at 200 thanks to World War II.  Schumacher, who was one of the National League’s top veteran pitchers at the time of the war, joined the Navy after the 1942 season and missed three years to the colors.  The right-hander was devastated by the loss of his brother during the war and only pitched one more year after his naval discharge.  One of the finest pitchers in Giants history, Hal was a two-time All-Star.

The New York native had a less than inspiring debut season with the 1931 Giants.  In just 18 innings, Prince Hal had a 10.80 ERA and surrendered 31 base hits.  He showed John McGraw little of the stuff that would make him one of the top-flight pitchers during the 1930s that initial trial at the Major League level.  Schumacher showed a little promise in 1932 before exploding in the 1933 campaign.  He won 19 games for the Giants on a 2.16 ERA in a hitter’s era.  He set a career high with seven shutouts (2nd in the NL) and was named to the NL All-Star team when the Midsummer Classic was in its infancy.  Hal owned the offerings that missed bats as he paced the senior circuit with a terrific 6.9 hits allowed over nine innings average.  He capped the season with a World Series ring as the Giants knocked off the Senators for the crown.

After his breakout year, Prince Hal showed the baseball world that it wasn’t a fluke.  He won a career best 23 games (2nd in the NL) and came within three innings of working 300 frames.  Despite another great season, Schumacher wasn’t elected to the NL All-Star team in ’34 but made the squad in ’35.  Hal won 19 games on a 2.89 ERA for the 1935 Giants.  The reliable right-hander completed nineteen of his starts and his low earned run average was good for third in the National League. 

The Giants would capture the NL flag again in 1936 despite Hal’s losing record.  The 1936 World Series was an all New York affair as Schumacher’s Giants took on the Yankees.  Hal made two starts and split his decision but the Giants were bested by the Bronx Bombers.  The 1937 World Series had the same cast and same outcome, as Hal lost his only start in that Fall Classic.  Throughout the 1930s Schumacher teamed with the legendary Carl Hubbell to give the Giants one of the best lefty/righty tandems in the business.  But by 1938 the innings began to add up and Hal failed to log 200 innings for the first time since his rookie season. 

Schumacher had three straight seasons of 13 wins from 1938 to 1940.  Near the top of his game in ’40, Prince Hal set a career high in strikeouts as he averaged 4.9 strikeouts over nine innings (not too shabby in an age when the boys didn’t whiff like they do now).  More importantly Hal was back to his workhorse form, logging in the excess of 200 innings every year from 1940 to 1942.  During the ’42 season Hal won a dozen games on a tidy 3.04 ERA but it would be his last good season.  With the war raging overseas, Schumacher joined the US Navy and spent three years in the military.  When he came back in 1946 his accuracy had abandoned him and he closed out his career.

THE NUMBERS

W 158/L 121/PCT .566/ERA 3.36/G 391/CG 138/SHO 26/IP 2,482/H 2,424/BB 902/SO 906

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2 comments
  1. Matt said:

    Hey thanks for the tip- I just picked him up for my All Time Baseball league. We’ll see how he does. Unfortunately NL was a little more of a pitcher’s league than AL in early-mid 30s.

    • brettkiser said:

      Hope Prince Hal works out for you.

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