Firpo Marberry

Frederick "Firpo" Marberry (November 30, 1898 – June 30, 1976) was an American right-handed starting and relief pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1923 to 1936, most notably with the Washington Senators. The sport's first prominent reliever,[1] he has been retroactively credited as having been the first pitcher to record 20 saves in a season, the first to make 50 relief appearances in a season or 300 in a career, and the only pitcher to lead the major leagues in saves six times. Since relief pitching was still seen as a lesser calling in a time when starters were only removed when clearly ineffective, Marberry also started 187 games in his career, posting a 94–52 record as a starter for a .644 winning percentage. He pitched in later years for the Detroit Tigers (1933–1935) and New York Giants (1936) before ending his career in Washington.

Firpo Marberry
Firpo Marberry2
Marberry with the Washington Senators in 1924
Born: November 30, 1898
Streetman, Texas
Died: June 30, 1976 (aged 77)
Mexia, Texas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 11, 1923, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
June 10, 1936, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Win–loss record148–88
Earned run average3.63
Career highlights and awards
  • World Series champion (1924)
  • 6-time American League leader in appearances
  • First player to record 100 career saves (retroactively)

Career overview

Born in Streetman, Texas, he became well-known around the majors for the scowl he seemed to constantly have on his face that sometimes frightened batters; his appearance and demeanor reminded observers of boxer Luis Firpo, earning Marberry the nickname for which he often expressed disdain.[1]

Like many players, right-handed Marberry started and ended his career with the same ballclub, the Senators. When he first came up in August 1923, Marberry was effective in ​44 23 innings pitched for the remainder of the season. He went 4–0 that year, proving himself ready for the pros. An 11–12 season with a 3.09 ERA came the year after, which might have seemed fairly average in that era were it not for his relief work, which saw him save 15 games – a new major league record, although it was not realized at the time. Marberry's role was crucial in helping the Senators reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history.[1]

Firpo Marberry
Firpo Marberry with the Washington Senators, during the 1924 World Series.

In the 1924 World Series against the Giants, Marberry was thrown into a difficult situation in his first appearance; after the Senators had taken a 3–1 lead going into the 9th inning of Game 2 at Griffith Stadium, starter Tom Zachary allowed the Giants to score twice to tie the game. Marberry came in to strike out Travis Jackson to end the inning, and the Senators scored in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Series; Zachary was credited with the win, although modern rules would have credited it to Marberry. The next day, Marberry started Game 3 at the Polo Grounds, but suffered from two unearned runs in the 2nd inning, was pulled for a pinch hitter in the top of the 4th while trailing 3–1, and was charged with the loss. He rebounded in Game 4 the next day, however, entering in the 8th inning with a 7–2 lead and closing out the victory to again tie the Series.

He showed his mettle in Game 7 at Griffith Stadium, entering with two men on base and no one out in the 6th inning, leading 1–0. Although the Giants scored three times in the inning, two of the runs were unearned, and Marberry effectively shut the Giants down through top of the 8th, being pulled for a pinch hitter as the Senators tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Legendary Walter Johnson came in for the 9th inning, and redeemed himself after two losses in the Series by shutting out New York for four innings; the Senators scored in the bottom of the 12th to take what would be the only World Series title in Washington history. Marberry ended the Series with a 1.12 ERA in 4 games.

Marberry came back with another remarkable season in 1925, again saving 15 games to tie his own record as the Senators won their second consecutive pennant. But although he allowed no runs in 2 appearances, Washington dropped the Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, again going seven games. Marberry had an excellent year in 1926, breaking his own record again with 22 saves and posting a 3.00 ERA, the lowest of his career (besides his brief 1923 season) in an era which strongly favored hitters. He also took over the major league record for career saves, with 52. After two subpar seasons, he came back in 1929 to again lead the American League with 11 saves, while also winning a career-high 19 to finish 4th in the AL.

Marberry 1933 Goudey baseball card.

Marberry was never a full-time starter, but was often considered one of the few great pitchers that could go back and forth from the bullpen to being a starter, since there were so few of his era. In 1930 and 1931, Marberry was employed primarily as a starter, and posted an overall record of 31–9 for the two seasons. In 1931, showcasing his talents as both a starter (25 starts), and a reliever (20 appearances), he posted a 16–4 record with a 3.45 ERA (5th in the league) and 88 strikeouts. While he picked up 11 complete games and 1 shutout as a starter, he also had 7 saves, and finished 13th in MVP voting (Lefty Grove won the award).

After again leading the league in saves in 1932, for the fifth and last time, he was traded to Detroit on December 14. With the Tigers, Marberry adjusted well to the move from pitcher-friendly Griffith Stadium to Tiger Stadium, and posted a record of 31–16 in his first two years before his career faded away. After appearing in only 5 games for Detroit in 1935, Marberry was offered a job as an AL umpire, and he did serve in that capacity for the remainder of the season, though never in a Washington game.[2] He made a single relief appearance for the Giants in 1936 before ending his career on June 10 in the town that had come to love him, Washington, D.C.

On May 6, 1934, Marberry allowed a record-tying four consecutive triples to the Boston Red Sox. The four hitters were Carl Reynolds, Moose Solters, Rick Ferrell, and Bucky Walters.

In a 14-season career, Marberry had a lifetime record of 148–88 with a 3.63 ERA in 551 games (187 starts), accumulating 86 complete games and 7 shutouts. His career records of 364 relief appearances and 101 saves – both more than double the previous records – were surpassed by Jack Russell in 1940 and Johnny Murphy in 1946 respectively. He struck out 822 batters in 2067-1/3 innings pitched. Marberry would not begin to gain true recognition for many of his accomplishments until the save was created as a pitching statistic in the 1960s, and later research was done to identify saves earned in the past. He died of a stroke at age 77 in Mexia, Texas, and was buried in Birdston Cemetery near Streetman.


  • Top 10 in the American League in wins, five times (1929, '30, '31, '33, '34)
  • Top 6 in the league in ERA, four times (1924, '29, '31, '33)
  • Led the league in saves, five times (1924, '25, '26, '29, '32); in the top 10 four more times (1927, '28, '31, '34)
  • Led the league in games, six times (1924, '25, '26, '28, '29, '32), and led the league in games finished, four times (1924, '25, '26, '28)

See also


  1. ^ a b c Pietrusza, David; Matthew Silverman; Gershman, Michael (2000). Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia. New York: Total Sports. pp. 708–709. ISBN 1-892129-34-5.
  2. ^ Charlton, James; Shatzkin, Mike; Holtje, Stephen (1990). The Ballplayers: baseball's ultimate biographical reference. New York: Arbor House/William Morrow. p. 665. ISBN 0-87795-984-6.

External links

1924 Major League Baseball season

The 1924 Major League Baseball season.

1924 New York Giants season

The 1924 New York Giants season was the franchise's 42nd season. The team finished first in the National League with a record of 93–60, winning the NL pennant for the fourth consecutive season, a record that still stands, as of 2016. They went on to the World Series, losing to the Washington Senators in seven games.

1924 Washington Senators season

The 1924 Washington Senators won 92 games, lost 62, and finished in first place in the American League. Fueled by the excitement of winning their first AL pennant, the Senators won the World Series in dramatic fashion, a 12-inning game 7 victory.

1924 World Series

In the 1924 World Series, the Washington Senators beat the New York Giants in seven games. The Giants became the first team to play in four consecutive World Series, winning in 1921–1922 and losing in 1923–1924. Their long-time manager, John McGraw, made his ninth and final World Series appearance in 1924. The contest concluded with the second World Series-deciding game which ran to extra innings (the first had occurred in 1912). Later, the Senators would reorganize as the Minnesota Twins, again winning the World Series in a game which ran to extra innings in 1991.

Walter Johnson, after pitching his first 20-victory season (23) since 1919, was making his first World Series appearance, at the age of 36, while nearing the end of his career with the Senators. He lost his two starts, but the Senators battled back to force a Game 7, giving Johnson a chance to redeem himself when he came on in relief in that game. Johnson held on to get the win and give Washington its first and only championship. The seventh game is widely considered to be one of the most dramatic games in Series history.

Johnson struck out twelve Giants batters in Game 1 in a losing cause. Although that total matched Ed Walsh's number in the 1906 World Series, it came in twelve innings. Johnson only struck out nine in the first nine innings.

In Game 7, with the Senators behind 3–1 in the eighth, Bucky Harris hit a routine ground ball to third which hit a pebble and took a bad hop over Giants third baseman Freddie Lindstrom. Two runners scored on the play, tying the score at three. Walter Johnson then came in to pitch the ninth, and held the Giants scoreless into extra innings. With the score still 3–3, Washington came up in the twelfth. With one out, and runners on first and second, Earl McNeely hit another grounder at Lindstrom, and again the ball took a bad hop, scoring Muddy Ruel with the Series-winning run.

This was the only World Series championship victory during the franchise's time in Washington. As the Minnesota Twins, the team won the World Series in 1987 and 1991.

1925 Major League Baseball season

The 1925 Major League Baseball season.

1925 Washington Senators season

The 1925 Washington Senators won 96 games, lost 55, and finished in first place in the American League. Fueled by the excitement of winning their second AL pennant, the Senators led 3 games to 1 in the World Series before succumbing to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1926 Major League Baseball season

The 1926 Major League Baseball season.

1932 Major League Baseball season

The 1932 Major League Baseball season.

1934 Detroit Tigers season

The 1934 Detroit Tigers season was the 34th season for the Detroit Tigers since entering the American League in 1901. The Tigers won the American League pennant with a record of 101–53, the best winning percentage in team history. The team made its fourth World Series appearance, but lost the 1934 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3.

1936 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1936 New York Giants season was the franchise's 54th season. The Giants won the National League pennant. The team went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the 1936 World Series, four games to two.

1962 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1962 followed a new system for even-number years. Since 1956 the Baseball Writers' Association of America and Veterans Committee had alternated in their duties, but the BBWAA, voting by mail to select from recent major league players, had elected no one for 1958 and no one for 1960. Now there would be a second, "runoff" election in case of no winner. At the same time the Veterans Committee resumed meeting annually to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

The provision for a runoff election was not necessary yet, for the writers elected two new candidates on their first ballot, Bob Feller and Jackie Robinson. The Veterans Committee also selected Bill McKechnie and Edd Roush, both of whom were still alive to be interviewed and invited to the induction ceremonies.

Earl Whitehill

Earl Oliver Whitehill (February 7, 1899 – October 22, 1954) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He played for the Detroit Tigers for the most significant portion of his career (1923–1932), and later with the Washington Senators (1933–1936), Cleveland Indians (1937–1938), and the Chicago Cubs (1939). Consistently winning in double digits for thirteen years (1924–1936), left-handed Whitehill went on to become one of the top winning pitchers of all time. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"The Earl", as many called him, was a handsome and often temperamental pitcher who often showed up in the top 10 in hit batsmen, leading the league in his first full year, 1924, when he hit 13 (tied with George Uhle).

Whitehill averaged 14 wins each season and he never dipped below 11 wins in a full season (30 starts or more). Whitehill made his debut on September 15, 1923. He was a small left-handed pitcher, who weighed around 175 pounds. With Detroit, he came to be known as one of the most consistent pitchers in the league. From 1928 through 1932, he never had an ERA higher than 4.62 and never had one lower than 4.08; a difference of only .54 in those years.

In his rookie season, Whitehill was 17–8, with a 3.86 ERA, and two shutouts. The Tigers' offensive support helped, as the Tigers finished 1st in most major offensive categories in 1923. Reduced run support became a factor later in his stint with Detroit, which lead some to believe his overall record could have been better. In his early years with Detroit, Whitehill was part of a starting rotation that included Hooks Dauss, Dutch Leonard, and Lil Stoner.

Whitehill, one of the top pitchers of the Roaring Twenties, had a celebrity marriage to Violet Geissinger. Geissinger was a model for Sun-Maid Raisins during the 1920s. She was known as The Sun-Maid Raisin Girl.After he was traded to Washington, for Firpo Marberry and Carl Fischer, Whitehill fit right in there, going a career-best 22–8 in his first year, with a 3.33 ERA (also a career-best, excluding his first year when he pitched in 8 games and had a 2.73 ERA). With Washington that year, he saw his first (and last) postseason action, when the Senators were defeated by the New York Giants in 5 games. However, Whitehill did his part, getting the only win of the series for Washington. In that game, he pitched a complete game shutout allowing 5 hits and 2 walks. Because he didn't start until Game 3, it became his only start of the Series, and his only start of the postseason. Thus, his final postseason ERA was 0.00, tied with many others for a record.

He one-hit the St. Louis Browns on July 4, 1932, Goose Goslin recording the only hit for the Browns. Whitehill also one-hit the New York Yankees on May 30, 1934. The Yanks' Ben Chapman broke up the no-hitter in the ninth inning.

He was traded as part of a three team deal on December 10, 1936. The Senators received Jack Salveson from the Chicago White Sox, who received Thornton Lee from the Indians, which is where Whitehill was headed. In Cleveland, Whitehill had two average years and made a number of relief appearances (mostly in 1937). His final record with the Indians was 17–16.

Whitehill signed with the Cubs in 1939, went 4–7 with a 5.14 ERA there, and was released in October 1939. In 17 seasons, he was 218–185 with a career ERA of 4.36, having given up 1726 earned runs in 3564 and 2/3 innings pitched. He recorded 1350 career strikeouts. He pitched in 541 games, 473 of them starts. His lifetime ERA of 4.36 is higher than any other 200-game winner.

A competent hitting pitcher in his 17 years in the majors, Whitehill compiled a .204 batting average (264-for-1291) with 107 runs, 4 home runs and 98 RBI.

After serving as a coach for the Indians, the Philadelphia Phillies, and in the International League in the early 1940s, he became a sales representative for the A. G. Spalding sporting goods firm. Whitehill died in an automobile accident in Omaha, Nebraska at the age of 54.


Firpo may refer to any of the following:

Luis Firpo, the noted Argentinian boxer.

Matthew Firpo, the American film director and screenwriter.or the following people or organizations, all of which were nicknamed "Firpo" in honour of Luis Firpo's memory:

Guido Bardelli, a.k.a. Young Firpo, a boxer in the US northwest in the 1920s and 1930s.

Juan Kachmanian, who wrestled under the name Pampero Firpo

Frederick "Firpo" Marberry, major league baseball's first prominent relief pitcher.

C.D. Luis Ángel Firpo, the Salvadoran football (soccer) club.It may also refer to:

Roberto Firpo, an Argentine tango pianist, composer and bandleader.

Harry Coveleski

Harry Frank Coveleski (April 23, 1886 – August 4, 1950) was a Major League Baseball pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, and Detroit Tigers.

List of Detroit Tigers Opening Day starting pitchers

The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Detroit, Michigan. They play in the American League Central division. The first game of the new baseball season is played on Opening Day, and being named the starter that day is an honor, which 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. Since joining the league in 1901, the Tigers have used 55 different Opening Day starting pitchers. The Tigers have a record of 56 wins and 59 losses in their Opening Day games. They also played one tie game, in 1927.The Tigers have played in three different home ball parks, Bennett Park from 1901 through 1911, Tiger Stadium (also known as Navin Field and Briggs Stadium) from 1912 to 1999 and Comerica Park since 2000. They had a record of 5 wins and 2 losses in Opening Day games at Bennett Park, 19 wins and 22 losses at Tiger Stadium and 3 wins and 4 losses at Comerica Park, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 26 wins and 28 losses. Their record in Opening Day away games is 27 wins, 31 losses and one tie.Jack Morris has the most Opening Day starts for the Tigers, with 11 consecutive starts from 1980 to 1990. Morris had a record of seven wins and four losses in his Opening Day starts. George Mullin had ten Opening Day starts for the Tigers between 1903 and 1913. The Tigers won five of those games and lost the other five. Mickey Lolich had seven Opening Day starts between 1965 and 1974. He had a record of five wins and two losses in those starts. Justin Verlander has also made seven Opening Day starts for the Tigers, between 2008 and 2014. His record in those starts is one win and one loss with five no-decisions. Other Tiger pitchers with at least three Opening Day starts include Hal Newhouser with six, Earl Whitehill and Jim Bunning with four; and Tommy Bridges, Frank Lary and Mike Moore with three.The first game the Tigers played as a Major League team was on April 25, 1901, against the Milwaukee Brewers. Roscoe Miller was the Tigers Opening Day starting pitcher for that game, which the Tigers won 14–13. The Tigers have played in the World Series eleven times, in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2006, and 2012, with wins in four of those: 1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984. The Tigers Opening Day starting pitchers in those seasons were Mullin (1907 and 1909), Ed Siever (1908), Firpo Marberry (1934), Rowe (1935), Newsom (1940), Newhouser (1945), Earl Wilson (1968), Morris (1984), Kenny Rogers (2006), and Justin Verlander (2012). The Tigers won five of those Opening Day games and lost the other five.Josh Billings was the Tigers Opening Day starting pitcher in 1928, despite being only 20 years old and having only won five Major League games prior to the season. Bunning, who made four Opening Day starts for the Tigers was later elected to the United States Senate. McLain, who made two Opening Day starts for the Tigers, was later convicted of embezzlement. Bunning and Newhouser have each been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

List of Major League Baseball annual saves leaders

The following is a list of annual leaders in saves in Major League Baseball (MLB), with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list also includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of MLB.

In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under prescribed circumstances. Most commonly a relief pitcher ("reliever") earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. The statistic was created by Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an MLB official statistic in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date.

MLB recognizes the player or players in each league with the most saves each season. In retrospect, the five saves by Jack Manning meant he led the National League in its inaugural year, while Bill Hoffer was the American League's first saves champion with three. Mordecai Brown was the first pitcher to record at least 10 saves in a season. Dan Quisenberry, Bruce Sutter, Firpo Marberry, and Ed Walsh are the only pitchers to lead the league in saves five times (though Marberry and Walsh did so before 1969). Sutter is also tied with Harry Wright, Dan Quisenberry and Craig Kimbrel for the most consecutive seasons leading the league in saves with four.

Major League Baseball titles leaders

At the end of each Major League Baseball season, the league leaders of various statistical categories are announced. Leading either the American League or the National League in a particular category is referred to as a title.

The following lists describe which players hold the most titles in a career for a particular category. Listed are players with four or more titles in a category. Active players are highlighted.

Major League Baseball titles streaks

At the end of each Major League Baseball season, the league leaders of various statistical categories are announced. Leading the league in a particular category is referred to as a title.

The following lists describe which players held, or at least shared, the title for a particular category three or more seasons in a row. Streaks of three years or more are shown for each league. Players listed under MLB led both the AL and NL in those years, or had a sufficient total in a given category to lead the major leagues without leading either league (for example, Mark McGwire's 58 homers in 1997 were the most in MLB, but he led neither league because he was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the St. Louis Cardinals in midseason). Active streaks are highlighted.

Streetman, Texas

Streetman is a town in Freestone and Navarro counties in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census the population was 247, up from 203 at the 2000 census.

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