Ewell Blackwell

Ewell Blackwell (October 23, 1922 – October 29, 1996) was an American right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Nicknamed "The Whip" for his sidearm, snap-delivery, Blackwell played for the Cincinnati Reds for most of his career (1942; 1946–52). He also played with the New York Yankees (1952–53) and finished his career with the Kansas City Athletics (1955).

Ewell Blackwell
Ewell Blackwell.jpeg
Pitcher
Born: October 23, 1922
Fresno, California
Died: October 29, 1996 (aged 74)
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 21, 1942, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
April 18, 1955, for the Kansas City Athletics
MLB statistics
Win–loss record82–78
Earned run average3.30
Strikeouts839
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Baseball career

The 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), 195 lb (88 kg) Blackwell is considered to have been one of the greatest pitchers of his era, and starred in a six-year streak in the All-Star Game from 1946 through 1951. He was the winning pitcher of the 1950 All-Star Game, getting Joe DiMaggio to ground into a game-ending double play in the 14th inning.

On June 18, 1947, Blackwell pitched a 6–0 no-hitter against the Boston Braves. In his next start, June 22, against the Brooklyn Dodgers, he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, trying to tie the achievement of his veteran Reds teammate Johnny Vander Meer from nine years earlier, of throwing consecutive no-hitters. However, the no-hit attempt was broken up by Eddie Stanky. The Reds won the game 4–0.

In a 10-season career, Blackwell posted an 82–78 record with 839 strikeouts and a 3.30 ERA in 1,321 innings pitched. In 1960, he was just the eighth player ever to be inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. During a 2007 New York Mets broadcast, Blackwell was referred to as the best right-handed pitcher ever by Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner. Both Kiner and Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella called Blackwell the toughest pitcher they ever faced.[1][2] Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully also reported that batters were genuinely afraid to face him.

Blackwell's best year was 1947, when he recorded 22 wins against 8 losses, including 16 consecutive complete game victories for a weak-hitting team. At a slender 6 ft 6 inches, he was one of the first very tall pitchers, and a fearsome sight to hitters of that era. His bizarre sidearm delivery, described by a leading sports pundit as "looking like a man falling out of a tree", put unusual strain on his arm, abbreviating his success and, ultimately, his career. Along with arm problems, Blackwell had his right kidney removed in January 1949 after it became infected, and then had an emergency appendectomy in September 1950.[3]

In 1948, Ziff-Davis Publishing Company produced "The Secrets of Pitching, By Ewell Blackwell", a short book giving good advice for young pitchers.

Military service

From 1943 to 1946 during World War II, Blackwell served with the United States Army in Europe where he worked as a mess sergeant.[4] When not cooking, he had time to play baseball and conduct instructional camps with European youth prior to his March 1946 discharge.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Madden, Bill (November 3, 1996). "He Was Wicked 'Whip'". Daily News. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Campanella, Roy (March 1, 1995). "It's Good to Be Alive". U of Nebraska Press. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  3. ^ Linkugel, Wil A (1998). They Tasted Glory: Among the Missing at the Baseball Hall of Fame. United States: McFarland Publishing. p. 272. ISBN 9780786404841.
  4. ^ Ewell Blackwell at the SABR Baseball Biography Project, by Warren Corbett, Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Baseball in Wartime – Ewell Blackwell". BaseballinWartime.com. Retrieved July 6, 2019.

External links

Preceded by
Bob Feller
No-hitter pitcher
June 18, 1947
Succeeded by
Don Black
1942 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1942 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League with a record of 76–76, 29 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1947 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1947 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fifth in the National League with a record of 73–81, 21 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1947 Major League Baseball season

The 1947 Major League Baseball season, on opening day, the New York Giants were at the Phillies, the Yankees were home in the Bronx against the Philadelphia A's and the Brooklyn Dodgers were home to open against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field.

Jackie Robinson was in the Dodgers lineup, playing first base. This began a new chapter in Major League Baseball, as it was the first time an African American had been allowed to play in the league. There were more than 26,000 fans at Ebbets Field that day.

1948 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1948 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the National League with a record of 64–89, 27 games behind the Boston Braves. This season was the first wherein the Reds were broadcast on television all over Cincinnati via WLWT, with a television simulcast of the radio commentary from WCPO with Waite Hoyt on the booth.

1949 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1949 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished seventh in the National League with a record of 62–92, 35 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1950 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1950 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth in the National League with a record of 66–87, 24½ games behind the Philadelphia Phillies.

1950 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1950 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 17th 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 11, 1950, at Comiskey Park in Chicago the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–3 in 14 innings. It was the first All-Star game to go into extra innings.

1951 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1951 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth in the National League with a record of 68–86, 28½ games behind the New York Giants.

1951 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1951 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 18th 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 10, 1951, at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan the home of the Detroit Tigers of the American League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 8–3.

1952 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1952 Cincinnati Reds season was the franchise's 63rd year as a member of the National League and its 71st consecutive year of operation in Major League Baseball. The Reds won 69 games, lost 85, and finished sixth, drawing 604,197 spectators to Crosley Field, next-to-last in the eight-team league.

1952 New York Yankees season

The 1952 New York Yankees season was the 50th season for the Yankees in New York and their 52nd overall, going back to their origins in Baltimore. The team finished with a record of 95–59, winning their 19th pennant, finishing 2 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 7 games. This was their fourth consecutive World Series win, tying the record they had set during 1936–1939. It was also the first season that the Yankees aired their games exclusively on WPIX-TV which would last until the end of the 1998 season, the channel was also the home of the baseball Giants broadcasts from 1949, thus it was the first time ever that the channel had broadcast both the AL and NL baseball teams from the city, in 2016, when WPIX resumed FTA broadcasts of Yankees games in association with the current cable broadcaster YES Network, the channel returned to being the sole FTA broadcaster for the city's MLB franchises, as it is also currently the FTA broadcaster for the New York Mets.

1953 New York Yankees season

The 1953 New York Yankees season was the 51st season for the team in New York, and its 53rd season overall. The team finished with a record of 99–52, winning their 20th pennant, finishing 8.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 6 games. This was the Yankees fifth consecutive World Series win, a record that still stands.

1955 Kansas City Athletics season

The 1955 Kansas City Athletics season was the 55th season for the franchise in MLB's American League, and the first in Kansas City after playing the previous 54 in Philadelphia. The team won 63 games – only the fifth time in 20 years that they won more than 60 games – and lost 91, finishing sixth in the American League, 33 games behind the AL Champion New York Yankees.

Bob Marquis

Robert Rudolph Marquis (December 23, 1924 – December 28, 2007) was an American outfielder, whose eight-year professional career from 1947–1954 included a stint with the Cincinnati Redlegs of Major League Baseball in its 1953 season. A native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Marquis batted and threw left-handed. He stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg).

Marquis began his professional career in 1947 with the Lufkin Foresters, hitting .346 with 22 doubles and 16 triples in 140 games. He was sent to the Beaumont Exporters in the New York Yankees system, where he played in four games, going 0-for-1 at the plate. In 1948, he played for Beaumont (two games) and the Quincy Gems (126), hitting a combined .333 with 15 home runs, 18 triples and 21 doubles.

Marquis split the 1949 season between Beaumont (20 games) and the Binghamton Triplets (106), hitting a combined .236 in 453 at-bats. He then hit .293 in 151 games for Beaumont in 1950. The next year, he hit .278 in 123 games with the Kansas City Blues. He returned to Kansas City in 1952, hitting .246 in 97 games. On August 28, 1952, he was traded to Cincinnati along with Jim Greengrass, Ernie Nevel, Johnny Schmitz and $35,000 in exchange for Ewell Blackwell. At the time, Baseball Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, who had been managerr of Marquis in the minor leagues in 1950, was the Redlegs in 1952.

Marquis made his big league debut on April 17, 1953. In 40 games with the Redlegs (as the Reds were known from 1953–1958), he hit .273 with two home runs, a triple and a double in 44 at-bats. Despite posting an OPS+ of 108, that would end up being his only year in the big leagues, he played his final game on July 7. He also spent 61 games in the minors that year; with the Portland Beavers he hit .271. Back in the minors in 1954, he hit .282 with 16 triples in 143 games for Beaumont.Marquis died in 2007 in Beaumont, Texas, at the age of 83. He was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Beaumont.

Cincinnati Reds award winners and league leaders

This article is a list of baseball players who are Cincinnati Reds players that are winners of Major League Baseball awards and recognitions, Reds awards and recognitions, and/or are league leaders in various statistical areas.

Ernie Nevel

Ernie Wyre Nevel (August 17, 1918 – July 10, 1988) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher who played in 1950 and 1951 with the New York Yankees and in 1953 with the Cincinnati Redlegs. Born in Charleston, Missouri, he batted and threw right-handed, stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg).

Nevel had a 0–1 record, with a 6.10 ERA, in 14 games pitched as a big leaguer. In 20⅔ innings pitched, he allowed 27 hits and eight bases on balls, with nine strikeouts to his credit. Of his 14 appearances, one came as a starting pitcher. With the Yankees having already clinched the 1950 American League pennant, Nevel started the final game of the regular season on Sunday, October 1, against the third-place Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He allowed four hits and four earned runs in three innings of work, and took the loss, his only decision in Major League Baseball. On August 28, 1952, while he was on the roster of the Triple-A Kansas City Blues, he was one of four players (and $35,000 in cash) shipped to Cincinnati for former star hurler Ewell Blackwell, acquired by the Yankees for the pennant drive.

Twenty-six years old when he first broke into professional baseball, Nevel concluded a nine-year pro career in 1954. He died in Springfield, Missouri, at the age of 69.

List of Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starting pitchers

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Cincinnati who play in the National League's Central Division. In their history, the franchise also played under the names Cincinnati Red Stockings and Cincinnati Redlegs. They played in the American Association from 1882 through 1889, and have played in the National League since 1890. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor that is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Reds have used 76 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began play as a Major League team in 1882.

The Reds have played in several different home ball parks. They played two seasons in their first home ball park, Bank Street Grounds, and had one win and one loss in Opening Day games there. The team had a record of six wins and ten losses in Opening Day games at League Park, and a record of three wins and seven losses in Opening Day games at the Palace of the Fans. The Reds played in Crosley Field from 1912 through the middle of the 1970 season, and had a record of 27 wins and 31 losses in Opening Day games there. They had an Opening Day record of 19 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie from 1971 through 2002 at Riverfront Stadium, and they have a record of three wins and six losses in Opening Day games at their current home ball park, the Great American Ball Park. That gives the Reds an overall Opening Day record of 59 wins, 66 losses and one tie at home. They have a record of three wins and one loss in Opening Day games on the road.Mario Soto holds the Reds' record for most Opening Day starts, with six. Tony Mullane, Pete Donohue and Aaron Harang have each made five Opening Day starts for the Reds. José Rijo and Johnny Cueto have each made four Opening Day starts for Cincinnati, while Ewell Blackwell, Tom Browning, Paul Derringer, Art Fromme, Si Johnson, Gary Nolan, Jim O'Toole, Tom Seaver, Bucky Walters and Will White each made three such starts for the Reds. Harang was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher every season from 2006–2010. Among the Reds' Opening Day starting pitchers, Seaver and Eppa Rixey have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.The Reds have won the World Series championship five times, in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990. Dutch Ruether was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher in 1919, Derringer in 1940, Don Gullett in 1975, Nolan in 1976 and Browning in 1990. The Reds won all five Opening Day games in seasons in which they won the World Series. In addition, prior to the existence of the modern World Series, the Reds won the American Association championship in 1882. White was their Opening Day starting pitcher that season, the franchise's first. Jack Billingham started one of the most famous Opening Day games in Reds history on April 4, 1974 against the Atlanta Braves. In that game, Billingham surrendered Hank Aaron's 714th career home run, which tied Babe Ruth's all time home run record.

List of Cincinnati Reds no-hitters

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Cincinnati. They play in the National League Central division. Also known in their early years as the "Cincinnati Red Stockings" (1882–89) and "Cincinnati Redlegs" (1954–59) pitchers for the Reds have thrown 16 no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball only "when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings", though one or more batters "may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher's interference". No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. A no-hitter is relatively rare, but only one team in Major League Baseball has never had a pitcher accomplish the feat. On September 16, 1988, Tom Browning threw the only perfect game, a special subcategory of no-hitter, in Reds history. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game."While Dick Burns of the Outlaw Reds hurled the first no-hitter in Cincinnati baseball history, Bumpus Jones threw the first no-hitter in Reds history on October 15, 1892. The most recent no-hitter was thrown by Homer Bailey on July 2, 2013. Six left-handed starting pitchers have thrown no-hitters in franchise history and the other seven pitchers were right-handed. Eleven Reds no-hitters were thrown at home and only five on the road. They threw two in April, three in May, four in June, three in July, one in August, two in September, and one in October. The longest interval between no-hitters in franchise history was between the games pitched by Browning and Bailey, encompassing over 24 years. Conversely, the shortest interval between no-hitters was between the two consecutive games pitched by Johnny Vander Meer, encompassing merely 4 days from June 11, 1938 till June 15, 1938. The team against whom the Reds have thrown the most no-hit games (three) is the Atlanta Braves (formerly "Boston Braves"), who were defeated by Vander Meer (first no-hitter in 1938), Clyde Shoun (in 1944), and Ewell Blackwell (in 1947). There are two no-hitters which the team allowed at least a run. The most baserunners allowed in a no-hitter was by Jim Maloney (in 1965), who allowed 11. Of the 16 no-hitters, five have been won by a score of 1–0, more common than any other results. The largest margin of victory in a Reds no-hitter was an 11–0 win by Ted Breitenstein in 1898. The smallest margin of victory was 1–0 in wins by Fred Toney in 1917, Shoun in 1944, Maloney in 1965, Browning in 1988, and Bailey in 2012.

The umpire is also an integral part of any no-hitter. The task of the umpire in a baseball game is to make any decision "which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted Ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a Ball, or whether a runner is safe or out… [the umpire's judgment on such matters] is final." Part of the duties of the umpire making calls at home plate includes defining the strike zone, which "is defined as that area over homeplate [sic] the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap." These calls define every baseball game and are therefore integral to the completion of any no-hitter. 14 different umpires presided over each of the Reds' 16 no-hitters.

The manager is another integral part of any no-hitter. The tasks of the manager is to determine the starting rotation as well as batting order and defensive lineup every game. Managers choosing the right pitcher and right defensive lineup at a right game at a right place at a right time would lead to a no-hitter. 12 different managers have led to the Reds' 16 no-hitters.

Palmball

In baseball, the palmball pitch is a type of changeup. It requires placing the baseball tightly in the palm or held between the thumb and ring finger and then throwing it as if throwing a fastball. This takes some of the velocity off the pitch, intending to make the batter swing before the ball reaches the plate.

Notable pitchers who have been known to throw the palmball include Steve Farr, Robinson Tejeda, Ed Whitson Edwar Ramírez, Dave Giusti, Bob Stanley, Orlando Hernández, Randy Martz, reliever Tony Fiore, Bryn Smith, Kenneth Brown and 1990s reliever Joe Boever. Philadelphia Phillies and former Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay was known to have thrown a palmball early in his career, though he rarely used it later on.

Second on the All-Time saves list, Trevor Hoffman, made his palmball changeup his "out" pitch.In earlier decades, the palmball was thrown by Ewell Blackwell, NL MVP winner Jim Konstanty, Cy Young Award winner Jim Palmer, and Satchel Paige. In 1968, Red Sox starter Ray Culp turned his career around by developing a palmball. Culp went 16-6 in 1968 and topped the Red Sox in wins from 1968-70.

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