Archive

pitchers

This post further details pitchers of the Negro Leagues who have not been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Jess “The Mountain” Hubbard was a star pitcher for the Brooklyn Royal Giants in the years after World War I.  A light-complected half-Indian, Hubbard once pitched in the Giants farm system but never made it to the Majors because of his half-black heritage.  Hubbard instead joined the Negro Leagues and made a name for himself as a stellar pitcher.  Like Orlando Hernandez of modern times, Jess liked to keep batters off-balance by throwing from a number of different arm angles.

Although Terris McDuffie was a solid pitcher in the Negro Leagues throughout the 1930s, he is best remembered as Effa Manley’s man-on-the-side.  Abe Manley was technically the owner but Effa took a greater interest in the team and a much greater interest in McDuffie, an illiterate man who hid this fact to the public.  The flamboyant right-hander won 19 games for Manley’s club in 1936 but when Abe found out about his wife’s affair with Terris, Abe traded the pretty boy to the New York Black Yankees for two bats and some worn-out gear. 

Connie Rector was a Texan but found New York to his liking.  He spent the bulk of his career bouncing around New York based teams because he couldn’t get enough of the Big Apple nightlife.  Not an overpowering pitcher, Rector possessed terrific control and his best offering was his change of pace.  Connie had a 20-win season with the Lincoln Giants in 1929 and once pitched in perhaps the greatest rotation in black baseball history with Smoky Joe Williams and Cannonball Dick Redding.  Rector, of course, was the number three hurler in that trio.

Sam Streeter was a little southpaw from Alabama who started the first ever Negro League All-Star Game.  A master of the spitball, Streeter pitched with the Pittsburgh Crawfords during the 1930s and was regarded as their staff ace until they signed Satchel Paige.  Sam was also a solid hitter who often hit above .300.

In a career in the Negro Leagues that spanned 24 years, Chet Brewer was a solid pitcher who spent the bulk of his career with the Kansas City Monarchs.  Although Brewer possessed a decent fastball he is regarded as more of a finesse pitcher.  Chet threw an assortment of pitches, some illegal in the Majors, to make him a winning pitcher,  With the Monarchs in 1926, Chet is credited with 20 wins against all levels of competition.  Brewer was a bit of a rambler and is sometimes listed as the first black American to have pitched in Mexico.  Chet also pitched in the Orient as well as Panama and other locales.

A star pitcher for the Hilldale Club of the 1920s, Phil Cockrell mixed in a spitball to go with his above average fast one.  He helped Hilldale capture three straight pennants from 1923 through 1925 and is credited with records of 10-1 and 14-2 in the latter two pennant-winning seasons.  Nicknamed “Fish,” Cockrell won the deciding game in the 1925 Negro League World Series.  After his playing days he became an umpire.

John Donaldson, was a legend during the Deadball Era who excelled after World War I with the Kansas City Monarchs.  The flame-throwing southpaw would be a sure bet for the Hall of Fame had he pitched in the east rather than out west.  A star with J.L. Wilkinson’s All Nations team from 1913 to 1917, the club typically played teams of very low caliber and Donaldson often mowed them away with little effort.  After his stint in the military during World War I, Donaldson finally ventured out east and pitched briefly in Brooklyn and Indianapolis before settling in with Wilkinson’s Kansas City Monarchs.  Born in Glasgow, Missouri, Donaldson has the stigma of being a barnstorming pitcher and not a legitimate Negro League hurler.  Be that as it may, Wilkinson often referred to Donaldson as the greatest pitcher he had ever seen, and he once owned Satchel Paige.  Giants skipper John McGraw once stated that he would have paid the princely sum of $50,000 for Donaldson had he been white.

Holsey Scranton Scriptus “Scrip” Lee was a submarine pitcher who excelled for the Hilldale Club of the 1920s.  Scrip is credited with 24 wins in 1923 and he pitched Hilldale to a championship over the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1925 World Series, taking their revenge for having been beaten by the same outfit the year prior.  Lee was a curveball pitcher first and foremost, and given his submarine delivery, made his breaking pitches hard to pick up for batters.  A former Army man, Lee served in the military before WWI under General Pershing.

Southpaw Dan McClellan is credited with throwing the first perfect game in Negro League history when he accomplished the feat in 1903 with the Cuban X-Giants.  He later joined the Philadelphia Giants where he had his greatest success in a rotation with Hall of Famer Rube Foster.  Although he lacked a good fastball, Dan kept batters off-balance with his solid assortment of off speed pitches.

Cannonball Dick Redding is arguably the greatest pitcher not in the Hall of Fame.  One of the top pitchers during the Deadball Era and on through the 1920s, Redding was a hard worker and tough competitor which, with his blazing fastball, made him an instant star.  Dick never worked out of the windup–he just slung his heat by dazed batters.  Over the course of his career, Cannonball is credited with an unheard of total of 30 no-hitters.  He had all the attributes of Washington Senators legend Walter Johnson, who was without a peer in the Majors.  Dick, however, had a peer in Smokey Joe Williams who he often pitched with in the same rotation.  Many observers couldn’t tell who was the better pitcher.  They were generally regarded as both great pitchers.  A big, good-natured man, Redding saw combat action during World War I and used his military leadership skills in baseball as a respected veteran and later manager.

 image of Cannonball Dick Redding

Considered the ace of the Hilldale Club during their powerhouse years of the 1920s, Nip Winters was a large southpaw with good speed and a solid curve.  Although wild at times, Nip was effectively wild, keeping batters on guard.  He is credited with a 32-6 record in 1923 and tossed a no-hitter in 1924.  In that season’s World Series, against the Monarchs of Kansas City, Nip posted a 1.16 ERA.  But Nip was an excessive drinker and many on the Hilldale Club complained of his lazy, careless style of play.  He was traded to the Lincoln Giants but his career fizzled out quickly.

Like Schoolboy Rowe of the Major Leagues, Laymon Yokely was an easy-going man with great pitching skills who was a solid gate attraction.  Like Rowe, Yokely was overworked due to his fan appeal and his arm went south mid-career.  Also like the Schoolboy, Yokely made a valiant comeback after his initial success with the Black Sox.  Yokely, who was nicknamed “Corner Pocket,” was credited with six no-hitters before his arm troubles.  Afterwards he rebounded after a few seasons with lesser teams to win 25 games with the Philadelphia Stars in 1939.

This post details the careers of some Negro League hurlers who haven’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Little Dave Barnhill was one of the best pitchers in the Negro Leagues in the years just prior to integration.  He started two All-Star Games against Satchel Paige in the 1940s.  A strikeout pitcher, Barnhill was just five-feet-seven-inches tall and didn’t even weigh 150 pounds.  Despite his less than imposing build, he was a fastball machine who racked up large strikeout totals.  He seemed destined for the Major Leagues but his tenure in the minors was beset by inconsistency.  He once had a 1.19 ERA at Miami Beach under former Cardinals great Pepper Martin but also had an ERA close to 6.00 while pitching for the higher class Minneapolis Millers.

Dizzy Dismukes had a long career in the Negro Leagues.  Initially a submarine pitcher in the vein of Carl Mays, Dizzy later managed, coached and worked in the front office.  He had a lengthy career with the Kansas City Monarchs where he tutored Buck O’Neil as the Monarchs’ traveling secretary.  As a pitcher, Dismukes excelled with the Indianapolis ABCs in the years around World War I.  A heady pitcher, Dizzy didn’t have blazing speed but was known for his assortment of breaking pitches.  He was a master at keeping batters off balance.

One of the top picthers in the Negro Leagues during the Deadball Era, Big Bill Gatewood stood at six-feet-seven-inches and tipped the scales at 250 pounds.  A mountain of a man, Gatewood was a rambler who pitched with a great many teams.  He is best associated with the St. Louis Stars.  He would manage the Stars and is credited with tutoring Cool Papa Bell as well as giving Bell his famous nickname.

A star pitcher during thr 1920s, Webster McDonald was a footloose hurler who made his rounds through black baseball after WWI.  Like Dizzy Dismukes, McDonald utilized a submarine style delivery and was nicknamed “56 Varieties” for his assortment of pitches.  Noted as one of the most polite men in the Negro Legaues, Webster was well-liked by everyone who came into contact with him, but it must be reasoned that batters didn’t care much for him.  He was a strikeout pitcher and is credited with tossing three no-hitters in 1933 with the Philadelphia Stars.

George Stovey is regarded as the first pitching star in the ranks of black baseball.  His time came during the 1880s and 1890s, before the Negro Leagues was established.  A Canadian, Stovey pitched in northern cities and was once rumored to have signed with the New York Giants of the National League but racial tensions prohibited him from ever taking the mound in a league contest.

Steel Arm Johnny Taylor was the brother of Negro League managerial legend C.I. Taylor.  Johnny was a terrific pitcher during the Deadball Era.  He once outdueled Smoky Joe Williams, widely regarded as the best pitcher in black baseball before Satchel Paige, with a 1-0 shutout.  Although a fine pitcher, Johnny was also a respected coach who demanded a clean-living lifestyle from his players.

Frank Wickware was perhaps the greatest gate attraction in the Negro Leagues during the Deadball Era.  The “Red Ant” supplanted Rube Foster as the staff ace of the Leland Giants as a youngster with his exceptional velocity and unusual poise for such a young pitcher.  He was in such demand during his prime that he would often sell his services to other teams while under contract with the American Giants.  His “ringer” tendencies didn’t sit well with management, but “The Black Walter Johnson” was such an extraordinary talent that his free-spirited ways were tolerated.  But later in his career, his contract-jumping became too much to tolerate when his skills began to erode.  A noted alcoholic, Wickware’s career didn’t pattern that of the Senators great and he was through at a relatively young age. 

A master of the screwball, Barney Brown was an angular left-hander remindful of Giants legend Carl Hubbell.  A five-time All-Star, Barney spent the bulk of his career with the Philadelphia Stars.  Brown was one of the top hitting pitchers in the Negro Leagues who was often saddled to losing clubs.  Given his association with teams that weren’t typically among the leaders, Brown’s career record wasn’t as sterling as it otherwise might have been.

Bill Byrd was a solid pitcher for the Elite Giants of the 1940s.  Although he played at the time the game was integrated, Byrd wasn’t a Major League prospcet because his best pitch was the spitball, which the Negro Leagues didn’t outlaw when the Majors made the pitch illegal.  Bill liked to mix in a knuckleball with his spitter to give batters fits.  A swell man with a generous nature, Bill was looked upon as a father figure in his latter years in the Negro Leagues and was nicknamed “Daddy” by Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella.

 image of Bill Drake

Perhaps the meanest pitcher in Negro League history, Bill Drake was nicknamed “Plunk” because he got a kick out of low-bridging batters.  Drake, who was born in Sedalia, Missouri, played with the All Nations teams, a club of men from many nationalities, before he became a success in black baseball with the St. Louis Stars.  Plunk excelled with some outlawed pitches, like the emery ball, which weren’t illegal in the Negro Legaues.  Given his background in integrated baseball, Bill had little trouble playing against whites.  He once played against Babe Ruth and he liked the great slugger because Babe shared a plug of tobacco with him.

This list of Hall of Fame eligible pitchers consists of those hurlers who split their careers between the rotation and bullpen.  They are listed in order of career strikeouts.

Danny Darwin (1,942), Woody Fryman (1,587), Greg Swindell (1,542), Juan Pizzaro (1,522), Ron Reed (1,481), Gary Bell (1,378), Joe Nuxhall (1,372), Stan Williams (1,305), Pedro Ramos (1,305), Fred Norman (1,303), Diego Segui (1,298), Murry Dickson (1,281), Don Robinson (1,251), Marty Pattin (1,179), Dick Farrell (1,177), Bobby Bolin (1,175), Moe Drabowsky (1,162), Johnny Klippstein (1,158), Billy Hoeft (1,140), Billy O’Dell (1,133), Dave Giusti (1,103), Tom Griffin (1,054), Ken Forsch (1,047), Rick Honeycutt (1,038)

Shane Rawley (991), Ron Kline (989), Dick Drago (987), Dick Tidrow (975), Pete Richert (925), Syl Johnson (920), Steve Gromek (904), Chuck Stobbs (897), Mark Leiter (892), Bob Shaw (880), Dan Spillner (878), Dennis Lamp (857), Matt Young (857), Hank Aguirre (856), Don Larsen (849), Bruce Ruffin (843), Skip Lockwood (829), Barry Latman (829), John Curtis (825), Walt Masterson (815), Ken Brett (807), Roger Craig (803), Bob Shirley (790), Mike LaCoss, (783), Mike Bielecki (783), Jakie May (765), Willie Blair (759), Mickey McDermott (757), Dan Schatzeder (748), Nelson Potter (747), Joe Gibbon (743), Jim Barr (741), Garry Staley (727), Joe Hesketh (726), Lew Krausse Jr. (721), Lee Stange (718), Harry Gumpert (709), Tom Sturdivant (704)

Neal Heaton (699), Al Benton (697), Doug Bird (680), Ike DeLock (672), Brian Bohanon (671), Billy Loes (645), Bill Krueger (639), Dave Wickersham (638), Bill V. Swift (636), Andy Hassler (630), Al Mamaux (625), Tom Murphy (621), Bob E. Smith (618), Scott Bankhead (614), Farmer Ray Moore (612), Doc Crandall (606), Dave Kosto (606), Allan Russell (603), John D’Acquisto (600), Don Carman (598), George Caster (595), Bill Bailey (570), Hank Johnson (568), Ray Scarborough (564), Ricky Bones (564), Warren Hacker (557), Al Brazle (554), Ferdie Schupp (553)

Buddy Daley (549), Gil Heredia (547), Scott Kamieniecki (542), Mickey Harris (534), Jim Owens (516), Wade Blasingame (512), Lloyd Brown (510), Cal Koonce (504), Bruce Dal Canton (485), Dave Danforth (484), Joe Haynes (475), Elam Vangilder (474), Al Fitzmorris (458), Dickie Noles(455), Jumbo Jim Elliott (453), Bob Kuzava (446), Joe Coleman Sr. (445), Chief Hogsett (441), Ray Kolp (439), Jim Hannan (438), Dave West (437), Jerry Arrigo (433) Erv Palica (423), Jack E. Russell (418), Don Aase (418), Clint Brown (410), Edwin Wells (403), Frank Baumann (384), Marvin Freeman (383), Dick Coffman (372), Boom-Boom Beck (352), Ben Cantwell (348), Jerry Augustine (348), Tony Kaufmann (345), Fred Heimach (334), Red Barrett (333), Bob Chipman (322), Stubby Overmire (301), Bobby Burke (299), Johnny Lanning (295) and Benny Frey (179)

This list consists of players not profield on this blog.  They are listed in order of career wins.

Sad Sam Jones (228), Silver King (206), Dwight Gooden (194), Lee Meadows (188), Rick Wise (188), Tom Zachary (185), Mike Torrez (185), Brickyard Kennedy (182), Chick Fraser (176), Guy Bush (176), Bill Dinneen (173), Eddie Rommel (171), Kevin Appier (169), Bob Forsch (168), Red Donahue (167), Mike Flanagan (167), Bob Buhl (166), Howard Ehmke (166), Paul Splittorff (166), John Burkett (166), Bill Sherdel (165), Pink Hawley (165), Theo Breitenstein (165)

Scott Sanderson (163), Vern Law (162), Bill Gullickson (162), Bump Hadley (161), Mike Moore (161), Jeff Pfeffer (158), Curt Davis (158), Willis Hudlin (158), Red Lucas (157), Jim Lonborg (157), Rube Benton (156), Rube Walberg (156), Doug Drabek (155), Andy Benes (155), Jesse Barnes (153), Rudy May (152), Brakeman Jack Taylor (151), Burt Hooton (151), Tom Canditotti )151), Jim Slaton (151), Rick Rhoden (151), Johnny Podres (148), Stan Bahnsen (146), Bob Knepper (146), Tim Belcher (146), Mudcat Grant (145), Jack Billingham (145), Bruce Hurst (145), Bert Cunningham (145)

Dennis Leonard (144), Rip Sewell (143), Kevin Tapani (143), Joe Coleman Jr. (142), Johnny Allen (142), Kevin Gross (142), Bobby Witt (142), Mike Morgan (141), Sonny Siebert (140), Charlie Leibrandt (140), Jim Clancy (140), Larry Dierker (139), Frank Smith (138), Dutch Leonard-lhp- (138), Dock Ellis (138), Todd Stottlemyre (138), Scott McGregor (138), Fred Toney (137), Dutch Ruether (137), Joe Dobson (137), Jack Sanford (137), Mike Caldwell (137), Ron Darling (136), Chris Short (135), Ramon Martinez (135), Ray Sadecki (135)

Jim Maloney (134), Mike McCormick (134), Pat Malone (134), Mike Boddicker (134), Pete Donohue (134), Steve Renko (134), Floyd Bannister (134), Howie Camnitz (133), George Mogridge (133), Ray Caldwell (133), Fritz Peterson (133), Darryl Kile (133), Harry Howell (132), Danny MacFayden (132), Mark Gubicza (132), Denny McLain (131), Howie Pollet (131), Pat Hentgen (131), Eldon Auker (130), Long Tom Hughes (129), Nelson Briles (129), Ned Garver (129), Bob Purkey (129), Charles Nagy (129), Cy Falkenberg (128), Dean Chance (128), Mort Cooper (128), Lefty Tyler (127), Joaquin Andujar (127), Bob Rush (127), Jack McDowell (127), Larry Benton (127), Frank Kitson (126), Johnny Antonelli (126), Larry Gura (126), Eddie Whitson (126), John Smiley (126), Jon Matlack (125), Dan Petry (125), Clarence Mitchell (125)

Lefty Leifield (124), Long Bob Ewing (124), Mike Scott (124), Doc Medich (124), Ross Grimsley (124), Mike Krukow (124), Denny Neagle (124), Al Downing (123), Mel Parnell (123), John Denny (123), Tom Browning (123), Dick Ruthven (123), Pat Dobson (122), Ray Culp (122), Dick Donovan (122), Carl Erskine (122), Dick Rudolph (121), Steve Barber (121), Earl Wilson (121), Bud Black (121), Ed Brandt (121), Tully Sparks (120), Bob Veale (120), Bob Groom (120), Sal Maglie (119), Ken Raffensberger (119), Spaceman Bill Lee (119), Milt Wilcox (119), Bill Singer (118), Kirby Higbe (118), Johnny Ring (118), John Tudor (117), Earl Hamilton (117), Thornton Lee (117), Mike Witt (117), Ken Hill (117), Tommy Thomas (117), Kid Carsey (117), Joe Horlen (116), Jose Rijo (116), Jaime Navarro (116), Bob Ojeda (115), Bruce Kison (115), Dick Ellsworth (115)

Sherry Smith (114), Sid Fernandez (114), Bill Monbouquette (114), Hal Carlson (114), Fritz Ostermueller (114), Shane Reynolds (114), David Goltz (113), Storm Davis (113), Tony Cloninger (113), Danny Jackson (112), Bill Hands (111), Watty Clark (111), Geoff Zahn (111), Jim Bibby (111), Pete Harnisch (111), Walt Terrell (111), Richard Dotson (111), Gary Nolan (110), Bob Tewksbury (110), Sam Gray (110), Death Valley Jim Scott (109), Jim Hearn (109), Denny Galehouse (109), Mark Portugal (109), Max Lanier (108), Hank Borowy (108), Bryn Smith (108), Rip Collins (108), Ray Burris (108), Bill Dietrich (108), JR Richard (107), Ralph Terry (107), Alex Fernandez (107), Steve Stone (107), Whit Wyatt (106), Fred Frankhouse (106), Kirk McCaskill (106), Regge Cleveland (105), Bob Walk (105), Flint Rhem (105)

Fred Norman (104), Ray Herbert (104), Sid Hudson (104), George Blaeholder (104), Vern Kennedy (104), Ernie Bonham (103), Ed Willett (103), Jim Rooker (103), Steve Blass (103), Johnny Morrison (103), Dave Roberts (103), Jack Scott (103), Sam Jones (102), Don Cardwell (102), Wild Bill Hallahan (102), George Pipgras (102), Eric Show (101), Silas Johnson (101), Alex Kellner (101), Ray Benge (101), Mario Soto (100< Clyde Wright (100), Willie Sudhoff (100), Zane Smith (100), Frank Foreman (100), Monte Pearson (100), Moose Haas (100), Lefty Stewart (100)

Al Smith (99), Joey Jay (99), Joe Shaute (99), Mark Gardner (99), Ray Fisher (98), Jim O’Toole (98), Andy Ashby (98), Guy Morton (97), Bill Walker (97), Frank Sullivan (97), Jim Bagby Jr. (97), Milt Gaston (97), Rick Mahler (96), Steve Avery (96), Fred Hutchinson (95), Max Butcher (95), Jack Kramer (95), Bill Swift (94), Chris Bosio (94), Russ Meyer (94), Rick Reed (94), Johnny Schmitz (93), Pete Vuckovich (93), Lary Sorensen (93), Pol Perritt (92), Allan Sothoron (92), Cal McLish (92), Vic Sorrell (92), Herm Wehmeier (92), Barney Pelty (91), Ken Johnson (91), Gene Conley (91), Juan Guzman (91), Dennis Rasmussen (91), John Montefusco (90), Denn Lemaster (90), Vinegar Bend Mizell (90)

Erik Hanson (89), Bobby J. Jones (89), Hugh McQuillen (88), Steve Trout (88), Bob Porterfield (87), Steve Hargan (87), Sheriff Blake (87), Art Houtteman (87), Jim Abbott (87), Jose DeLeon (86), Tom Underwood (86), Lynn McGlothen (86), Jim Wilson (86), Jack Fisher (86), Paul Foytack (86), George McQuillan (85), Hal Brown (85), Tommy Byrne (85), Al Maul (85), Willie Micthell (84), Blue Moon Odom (84), Jim Deshaies (84), Andy Hawkins (84), Larry Christenson (83), Jim Colborn (83), Oral Hildebrand (83), Nick Altrock (82), Ewell Blackwell (82), Dick Bosman (82), Joe Oeschger (82), Jack Knott (82), Jim Merritt (81), Bill Wegman (81), Art Fromme (80), Bob Muncrief (80), Dave LaPoint (80)

Rick Waits (79), James Baldwin (79), Larry McWilliams (78), Oil Can Boyd (78), Tim Leary (78), Cy Morgan (77), Ken Heintzelman (77), Bill Wight (77), Joe Bowman (77), Omar Olivares (77), Pat Ragan (76), Bob Moose (76), Bill Bonham (75), Danny Cox (74), Len Barker (74), Joey Hamilton (74), Mark Clark (74), Sterling Hitchcock (74), Eddie Smith (73), Rick Langford (73), Ray Washburn (72), Otto Hess (71), John Buzhardt (71), Jason Bere (71), Boots Hollingsworth (70), Pete Falcone (70), Pat Zachry (69), George Brunet (69), Curt Young (69), Leon Cadore (68), Armando Reynoso (68), Phil Marchildon (68), Vern Ruhle (67), Al Jackson (67), Pete Schourek (66), Charlie E. Smith (65), Johnny Rigney (64), David Palmer (64), Orval Grove (63), Bob Weiland (62), Glenn Abbott (62), Alex Ferguson (61), Dave Rozema (60), Randy Lerch (60), Harry Harper (59), Atlee Hammaker (59), Craig Swan (59), Alan Foster (48), Phil Ortega (46), Hugh Mulcahy (45), Paul Abbott (43) and Chris Haney (38)

A big, husky, genial Southern gentlemen, Bobo Newsom was one of baseball’s most colorful characters before mass media made every American more or less the same.  Big Bobo often referred to himself in the third person.  A good-natured fellow, Bobo may have had a footloose, keep-the-suitcases-packed career, but he always landed a job because he could chew up innings and keep his teammates loose. 

The native of South Carolina made his Major League debut in 1929 with the Dodgers.  Just 21 years old at the time, Newsom didn’t stick in the Majors at the outset.  It wasn’t until 1934, when the St. Louis Browns acquired him, that Bobo was up for good.  He won 16 games as a rookie but nevertheless lost 20 games which led the American League.  Overworked by the Browns, Bobo made 32 starts, completed fifteen of them and also saved five games.  No other pitcher in the AL faced more batter in ’34 than Bobo.  After an 0-6 start to the 1935 season, the Browns sold his contract to the Washington Senators.  Although Bobo was a rambler, he always seemed to return to Mr. Griffith and the DC area.

Newsom won 17 games for the Senators in ’36 and led the league in games started.  A power pitcher, Bobo was always among the league leaders in both strikeouts and walks.  He finished third in the AL in the strikeouts department that season.  Over the course of his career, Bobo had a whopping nine Top Three finishes in strikeouts while posting six such campaigns in bases on balls issued.  His lack of accuracy became a big problem in 1937, so Washington traded him to the Red Sox with Ben Chapman for the Ferrell Brothers.  Bobo led the league with 167 walks issued, but he also finished second in strikeouts and led the league in games started. 

Bobo went back to the Browns in 1938 and had his first 20-win season.  The stout right-hander led the league with 40 games started and 330 innings worked.  He set a personal single season high with 226 strikeouts (2nd in the AL), but with an ERA a hair above 5.00, the Browns shipped him to Detroit during the 1939 season.  Bobo became an instant sensation with the contending Tigers.  He won a combined 20 games between St. Louis and Detroit and again paced the league in games started and complete games.  The Tigers would capture the AL pennant in 1940 and it was Bobo’s grandest year.  He won 21 games (his third straight season with at least 20 victories), posted a 2.83 ERA and finished second to the amazing Bob Feller in strikeouts again.  The Tigers went to the World Series and Bobo won the opening game but the following day his father died.  He would toss a shutout in Game 5, which he dedicated to his old man, but he lost a tough Game 7.  Bobo worked 26 innings in the World Series on an otherworldly WHIP of 0.846.

After three 20-win seasons, Bobo dropped 20 games in 1941 but nevertheless finished as the runner-up in the strikeout department for the fifth straight season.  When Bob Feller enlisted in the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Bobo was able to capture the strikeout crown as a member of the Senators.  He began the ’43 season with the Dodgers, was shipped to the Browns and ended it back with the Senators.  He gained a little stability when Connie Mack signed him for his A’s club.  He spent the entire 1944 and ’45 seasons with the A’s and finished third in strikeouts each season.  After the war Connie Mack had a wealth of young pitchers recently returned from the military so he released Bobo and of course he caught on with his Senators. 

Newsom won 14 games on a 2.96 ERA in 1946 as a 38-year-old veteran.  He began the ’47 season with the Senators but the Yankees purchased his contract midseason for the postseason push.  Bobo posted a 2.80 ERA for the Yankees down the stretch and helped them win the World Series.  He was awarded his first and only Fall Classic championship at the age of 39.  But Newsom wasn’t done.  He joined the Giants in 1948 and pitched off and on during the early 1950s.  He tossed his last Major League pitch for the 1953 Athletics at the age of 45.

THE NUMBERS

W 211/L 222/PCT .487/ERA 3.98/G 600/CG 246/SHO 31/IP 3,759/H 3,769/BB 1,732/SO 2,082

Lary, a right-hander out of the University of Alabama, was one of the top pitchers at the end of the 1950s and during the early 1960s.  As a member of the Detroit Tigers, Frank was one of the most hated men in New York Yankees history.  He was so adept at turning back the legendary Bronx Bombers that he earned the nickname “The Yankee Killer.”  When Maris and Mantle were making all the headlines in 1961 with their long ball swatting, Lary went 23-9 and proved a pet nemesis of the boys in pinstripes.

Born and raised in Alabama, Frank joined the Tigers chain off the Alabama campus.  Called up to Detroit for a late season trial in 1954, Lary pitched three games in relief but would win a job as a starting pitcher the following season.  Lary won 14 games on a 3.10 ERA as a rookie in 1955.  The 25-year-old was the most difficult American League starter to take deep as he averaged just 0.4 homeruns allowed over nine innings.  Although quite solid as a freshman, Lary had a breakout year his sophomore season.  The Tigers right-hander led the league in wins, games started and innings pitched.  Although Frank possessed above average accuracy, he often led the league in hit batsmen because he wasn’t afraid to work inside.

After a losing season in 1957, Lary was among the league leaders in ’58.  That season he led the American League in both complete games and innings pitched while posting a nifty 2.90 ERA (4th in the AL).  He was able to finish third in wins and for the third straight season he led the AL with a dozen hit batsmen.  The fearless right-hander won 17 games in 1959 and posted the AL’s best strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.98-to-1.  Despite the terrific work Lary had put together in the 1950s, he didn’t make his first All-Star team until 1960.

Frank led the AL in games started, complete games and innings pitched in 1960.  Although his peripheral stats were all close to what they were in ’59, Lary’s winning percentage fell from .630 to an even .500.  But the Alabama star would enjoy his greatest season in 1961.  In what might be the most famous season in baseball history, Frank paced the American League with 22 complete games and fashioned an amazing 23-9 record.  For the seventh straight year he worked in the excess of 220 innings.  He finished second in wins, third in shutouts, fifth in winning percentage and had a tidy 3.24 ERA.  He made his second All-Star team, won a Gold Glove, finished seventh in MVP voting and third in Cy Young voting.  Few would have predicted it to be Frank’s last good year.

Injuries began to take their toll on Lary and he was limited to just 80 innings in 1962.  Frank, who was a classic innings-eater at the peak of his career, would never again exceed 110 innings in a single season.  He seemed to get back on track in 1963 when he posted a 3.27 ERA in 107 innings but after a rough start to the ’64 season the Tigers felt he was through and sold him to the lowly New York Mets.  Frank was unable to chew up innings with the NL’s cellar-dwellers.  He finished his career in 1965 as a long arm/spot starter with the White Sox.

THE NUMBERS

W 128/L 116/PCT .525/ERA 3.49/G 350/CG 126/SHO 21/IP 2,162/H 2,123/BB 616/SO 1,099

Whitehill, a southpaw from Cedar Rapids, spent the bulk of his career with the Detroit Tigers.  He made his debut in the day of Cobb and ended his playing days just before World War II.  An innings-eater deluxe, Earl often worked 240 innings a season.  Over the course of his career he posted twelve 200+ innings pitched seasons.  Earl won 218 games in his career but had a rather high ERA.  One must note that Whitehill pitched during the Lively Ball Era when runs were scored at a record pace and middling players were hitting .300.

Whitehill made his debut with the Cobb-led Tigers on 1923 and looked sharp in eight outings.  The southpaw pitched 33 innings and only surrendered 22 hits.  That strong showing allowed him to work regularly the following season and he responded with a 17-9 record on a 3.86 ERA.  After a rough season in 1925 Earl rebounded with a 16-win season in ’26.  He worked 252 innings that year and only surrendered seven homeruns.  This was a time when power numbers were escalating all over baseball but Whitehill kept the ball in the yard.  The next year he only coughed up four gopher balls while exceeding 230 innings.

After back-to-back losing seasons in 1928 and ’29, Earl notched 17 victories for the Tigers in 1930.  He completed 16 of his starts that year but proved a better competitor the following season when he posted 22 complete games in 1931.  In his tenth year with the Tigers in 1932, Whitehill finished third in the American League in the shutouts department but he had yet to see World Series action.  All that changed the following year.  After ten seasons in Motown, Earl made his first and only Fall Classic appearance but it came after a deal that sent him to the Senators.  Traded to Washington for the first great relief pitched in baseball history, Firpo Marberry, Earl helped Washington win the AL pennant.

Not only did Whitehill make his lone World Series appearance in 1933 but the southpaw also enjoyed his greatest season.  He went 22-8 for the Senators on a nifty 3.33 ERA.  He paced the junior circuit in games started and completed 19 of his starts.  He only pitched in one game in the 1933 World Series but it was a terrific outing.  Earl turned back the Giants with a complete game five-hit shutout.  However good Whitehill was, the Giants were better and won the title.  After his greatest campaign Earl reverted back to his usual self in 1934 when he posted an ERA above 4.00 and had a record just a hair above .500. 

Whitehill finished third in the American League with 279 innings pitched in 1935.  He fashioned a 14-13 worksheet for the Senators and for the fifth straight season he faced over 1,000 batters.  Although he had a winning record (14-11) in 1936, his ERA climbed to 4.87 and it was the last year he would exceed 200 innings of work.  Washington sent Earl to Cleveland in a three-team deal and he went 8-8 as a spot starter/long relief pitcher.  As a 39-year-old in 1938 he had his last winning season when he went 9-8 for the Tribe.  He spent one final year with the Cubs before hanging up his spikes.

THE NUMBERS

W 218/L 185/PCT .541/ERA 4.36/G 541/CG 226/SHO 16/IP 3,565/H 3,917/BB 1,431/SO 1,350