Eddie Rommel


Edwin Americus Rommel (September 13, 1897 – August 26, 1970) was an American right-handed pitcher and umpire in Major League Baseball. He spent his entire playing career (1920 to 1932) with the Philadelphia Athletics. He is considered to be the "father" of the modern knuckleball.

Eddie Rommel
Born: September 13, 1897
Baltimore, Maryland
Died: August 26, 1970 (aged 72)
Baltimore, Maryland
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 19, 1920, for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 17, 1932, for the Philadelphia Athletics
MLB statistics
Win–loss record171–119
Earned run average3.54
Career highlights and awards

Early life and career

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Rommel pitched for the minor league Newark Bears in 1918 and 1919.[1] He was picked up by Philadelphia after manager Connie Mack saw him start both ends of a doubleheader for Newark. Although he was knocked out by the third inning in both contests, Mack purchased his contract after noting that Rommel's curveball was breaking on the inside rather than the outside.[2]

Pitching career

In 1922, Rommel led the American League in wins with 27 despite playing for a team that finished seventh in the league and won only 65 games. Rommel won twenty games twice for the Athletics, in 1922 and 1925. Rommel made many relief appearances during his career, leading the AL in relief wins in three different seasons.

Rommel was reasonably handy with the bat for a pitcher, compiling a lifetime batting average of .199—though this was in an era where batting averages were generally higher than today. In 1931, he was called upon three times by Mack to play the outfield, where he made six putouts without error, and once to play second base, where he was given no fielding chances.

Rommel surrendered ten home runs to Babe Ruth, tying him for tenth place. However, fellow Athletics pitchers Rube Walberg (17) and Howard Ehmke (13, but nine of them were with other teams) surrendered more, and Rommel gave up the same number of Ruth home runs as teammate George Earnshaw. Toward the end of his career, he relied mostly on the knuckleball.

Notable games

Rommel pitched in relief and earned the win in the epic Game 4 of the 1929 World Series; the Athletics overcame an 8–0 deficit by scoring ten runs against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning to win 10–8. Sent into the game with the Athletics down 7–0, he pitched one inning, gave up one run and was taken out for a pinch hitter. He wound up the winning pitcher, thanks to the "Mack Attack".

On an intense stretch of four home doubleheaders and a single road game in five days, he pitched 17 innings in relief on July 10, 1932 against the Cleveland Indians and earned the win. Lew Krausse had been the starter; Mack only brought two pitchers to Cleveland for the one-game series. Rommel relieved Krausse after one inning and finished the game, which was a 15–15 deadlock after nine innings and ended 18–17 in favor of the Athletics in 18 innings (and in which Jimmie Foxx hit three home runs), despite the Indians setting what remains a league record with 33 hits. The game might have been shorter, but Rommel lost the lead in the seventh, ninth and sixteenth innings. The 29 hits allowed by Rommel remain a major league record, as do Cleveland's Johnny Burnett's nine hits. It was Rommel's final major league victory. Rommel was given his unconditional release by the Athletics at the end of the 1932 season.

Coaching and umpiring career

After retiring as a player, Rommel became an Athletics coach in 1933 and 1934, and then managed the Richmond Colts of the Piedmont League in 1935, capturing the league championship in his only season before leaving in a salary dispute.[2] He also pitched eight games for Richmond, posting a 6–2 mark.

He turned to umpiring in the New York–Penn League in 1936 and the International League in 1937, moving up to the American League in 1938, and remained on the league staff through the 1959 season.[2] Despite his background as a pitcher, Rommel did not tolerate throwing at batters, decrying it as dishonest and not to fans' liking. He noted that he only threw at a batter once during his own career, on the insistence of catcher Cy Perkins, and that the runner (Ray Schalk) eventually scored and cost him the game.[2]

He worked in the World Series in 1943 and 1947, serving as crew chief the first time, and becoming the third man to appear in the Series both as a player and as an umpire. He also umpired in the All-Star Game six times: 1939, 1943, 1946, 1950, 1954 and 1958; he called balls and strikes in the 1943, '54 and '58 contests. Rommel was the second base umpire for the one-game playoff to decide the 1948 AL pennant. He was the first umpire in Major League history to wear glasses in a regular season game.

Later life

Rommel became an aide to Maryland governor J. Millard Tawes after retiring as an umpire. He died in Baltimore after a lengthy illness at age 72.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Klingman, Mike (July 8, 2013). "This Week in Sports". The Baltimore Sun. p. 2 Sports. Eddie Rommel pitched the Newark Bears to an 11-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in an International League game on July 8, 1919.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Obituaries". The Sporting News. 1970-09-12. p. 38.

External links

1920 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1920 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 48 wins and 106 losses.

1921 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1921 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League for the seventh time in a row with a record of 53 wins and 100 losses.

1922 Major League Baseball season

The 1922 Major League Baseball season.

1922 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1922 throughout the world.

1923 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1923 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 6th in the American League with a record of 69 wins and 83 losses.

1924 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1924 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 5th in the American League with a record of 71 wins and 81 losses.

1925 Major League Baseball season

The 1925 Major League Baseball season.

1926 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1926 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing third in the American League with a record of 83 wins and 67 losses.

1928 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1928 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 2nd in the American League with a record of 98 wins and 55 losses. The team featured seven eventual Hall-of-Fame players: Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Eddie Collins, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Al Simmons, and Tris Speaker.

1929 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1929 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 1st in the American League with a record of 104 wins and 46 losses. After finishing in second place to the New York Yankees in 1927 and 1928, the club won the 1929 pennant by a large 18-game margin. The club went on to win the World Series over the NL champion Chicago Cubs, four games to one.

1930 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1930 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing first in the American League with a record of 102 wins and 52 losses. It was their second of three consecutive pennants. In the 1930 World Series, they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. This was the A's final World Series championship in Philadelphia. They would next win the World Series 42 years later, in 1972, after they had moved to Oakland.

When playing the Cleveland Indians on July 25, the Athletics became the only team in Major League history to execute a triple steal twice in one game.

1931 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1931 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing first in the American League with a record of 107 wins and 45 losses. It was the team's third consecutive pennant-winning season and its third consecutive season with over 100 wins. However the A's lost the 1931 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. The series loss prevented the Athletics from becoming the first major league baseball team to win three consecutive World Series; the New York Yankees would accomplish the feat a mere seven years later. The Athletics, ironically, would go on to earn their own threepeat in 1974, some forty-three years after the failed 1931 attempt.

1931 was also the A's final World Series appearance in Philadelphia. Their next AL pennant would be in 1972, after they had moved to Oakland.

1932 Major League Baseball season

The 1932 Major League Baseball season.

1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 11th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1943, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 5–3.

This was the first major league All-Star Game scheduled as a night game.

1960 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to Baseball Hall of Fame for 1960 followed a system established after the 1956 election. The Veterans Committee was meeting only in odd-numbered years (until 1962). The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and, same as in 1958, it elected no one. For the third and final time the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown were canceled because there was no one to induct. It was also the last time until 2013 that there were no living inductees (all three members of that induction class, all deceased, were voted in by the Veterans Committee).

Lew Krausse Sr.

Lewis Bernard Krausse (June 12, 1912 – September 6, 1988) was an American pitcher and scout in Major League Baseball from Media, Pennsylvania. He pitched in parts of the 1931 and 1932 seasons for the Philadelphia Athletics. When he was called up to the Athletics in 1931, he was the American League's youngest player.

Krausse was used mostly as a relief pitcher by the Athletics, with four of his 23 appearances being starts. He compiled a lifetime record of 5–1.

Krausse's most memorable start was on July 10, 1932, at Cleveland's League Park. Athletics manager Connie Mack, with the team coming off three straight home doubleheaders and playing a single game series in Cleveland (necessitated by Pennsylvania's blue laws prohibiting Sunday baseball) before returning home for another doubleheader, wished to save both trainfare and the arms of his pitchers, and brought only two pitchers with him—Krausse and veteran Eddie Rommel—both pitchers little used by the Athletics. Krausse was knocked out after one inning, surrendering three runs. Rommel pitched 17 innings in relief of Krausse, winning 18–17 in 18 innings.

Krausse never returned to the Major Leagues after 1932. Despite that, Krausse's rights were acquired by the Brooklyn Dodgers, who traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1938 for third baseman/outfielder Jimmy Outlaw plus cash. Krausse never played for either team, although he pitched in minor league baseball as late as 1946.

Krausse later was a manager in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system, then became a scout for the Kansas City A's, and signed his own son to a $125,000 bonus contract. Lew Krausse Jr. was a pitcher from 1961 to 1974, and won 68 games in the big leagues hurling for five different teams. The elder Krausse died at the age of 76 in Sarasota, Florida.

Newark Bears (International League)

The Newark Bears were a Minor League Baseball team in the International League, beginning in 1917 at the Double-A level. They played in the International League through the 1949 season, except for 1920 and part of the 1925 season. In the Bears' last four seasons in the International League (1946–1949), they were a Triple-A team, the highest classification in minor league baseball. They played their home games at Ruppert Stadium in what is now known as the Ironbound section of Newark; the stadium was demolished in 1967. The 1932, 1937, 1938, and 1941 Bears were recognized as being among the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time.Players in the Bears' early years who had Major League careers include Eddie Rommel, who pitched for the International League Newark Bears in 1918 and 1919. Harry Baldwin played three seasons for the Newark Bears (1921–1923) before playing for the New York Giants. Fred Brainard, who also played for the New York Giants 1914–1916, later played for the Newark Bears between 1922–1924 and was the Bears' player-manager in 1923 and 1924. Other former Major League players who managed the Newark Bears include Hall of Fame members Walter Johnson in 1928 and player-manager Tris Speaker in 1929–1930.Newark was a hotbed of minor league baseball from the time of the formation of the Newark Indians in 1902, and the addition of the Newark Eagles of the Negro National Leagues in 1936. A Federal League team, the Newark Peppers, played in 1915.

in 1931 Jacob Ruppert bought the Newark Bears who played at Ruppert Stadium in Newark, New Jersey, and begin building the farm system for the Yankees. In 1937, as a farm club of the New York Yankees, the Bears featured one of the most potent lineups in baseball, including Charlie Keller, Joe Gordon, Spud Chandler and George McQuinn, among others. They won the pennant by 25½ games to become known as one of the greatest minor league teams of all time. Their legacy was ensured when, after trailing 3 games to 0, they won the last four games against the Columbus Red Birds of the American Association to capture the Junior World Series.

Following the 1949 season, the Bears moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. Their departure, and the departure of the Eagles a year before, left Newark without professional baseball for nearly 50 years, until the formation of the Atlantic League Bears (see above).

One of the Bears' players, veteran pitcher George Earl Toolson, was reassigned by the Yankees to the AA Binghamton Triplets for the 1950 season. He refused to report and sued, challenging baseball's reserve clause in Toolson v. New York Yankees, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices upheld the clause and baseball's antitrust exemption, 7–2.

Oakland Athletics award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Oakland Athletics professional baseball franchise.

The team was first known as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1954 and then as the Kansas City Athletics from 1955 to 1967.

Rommel (surname)

Rommel is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Erwin Rommel (1891–1944), German field marshal of the Second World War

Manfred Rommel (1928–2013), mayor of Stuttgart and son of Erwin Rommel

Adrien Rommel (1914–1963), French fencer

Eddie Rommel (1897–1970), American baseball pitcher and umpire

Frank Rommel (born 1984), German skeleton racer

John Rommel (born 1958), American trumpeter

Julia Rommel, American painter

Key personnel
Important figures
World Series
Champions (9)
American League
Championships (15)
AL West Division
Championships (16)
AL Wild Card (3)
Inducted as
Inducted as

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