Hal Newhouser

Harold Newhouser (May 20, 1921 – November 10, 1998), nicknamed "Prince Hal," was an American professional baseball player. In Major League Baseball (MLB), he pitched 17 seasons on the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, from 1939 through 1955. Newhouser was an All-Star for six seasons,[a] and was considered to be the most dominating pitcher of the World War II era of baseball, winning a pitcher's triple crown for the Tigers in 1945. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.

After his retirement from baseball Newhouser was away from the sport for 20 years, serving as a bank vice president. He later worked as a scout for several MLB teams, including the Houston Astros. Angered when they rebuffed his recommendation to draft future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter in favor of Phil Nevin, he quit shortly after.

Hal Newhouser
Hal Newhouser Leaf
Pitcher
Born: May 20, 1921
Detroit, Michigan
Died: November 10, 1998 (aged 77)
Southfield, Michigan
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 29, 1939, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
May 3, 1955, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
Win–loss record207–150
Earned run average3.06
Strikeouts1,796
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1992
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Early life

Newhouser was a schoolboy star at Wilbur Wright High School in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Before he was approached by professional baseball teams, he had been saving money to attend a trade school by working several jobs. The young Newhouser sold newspapers, collected pop bottles and worked in a bowling alley before signing on in professional baseball.[1]

He was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1939 at the age of 18. A Tigers scout offered a $500 signing bonus to Newhouser, who found the sum of money to be unimaginable. Ten minutes after he signed, someone arrived from the Cleveland Indians; that employee had been prepared to offer $15,000 to his parents in addition to a $4,000 car.[1]

Playing career

Early career

Newhouser made his debut for Detroit on September 29, 1939. In 1940, he earned a spot on the Tigers out of spring training. In his first two full big-league seasons, the young left-hander experienced control problems, walking more batters than he struck out while posting win-loss records of 9–9 and 9–11. He improved in 1942 and 1943, posting excellent earned run averages (ERAs), but he still lost more than he won on a team with a weak offense.[2]

As World War II got under way, the Tigers moved up in the standings because several of their top players, including Newhouser, were classified as 4-F (ineligible to be drafted). Newhouser was 4-F due to a leaky heart valve; he attempted to join the service anyway but was turned down several times.[3]

He blossomed in 1944, becoming a dominant pitcher in wartime baseball. That season, Newhouser rang up a 29–9 record, leading the league in wins and strikeouts (187).[4] His 2.22 ERA was second in the league, as were his 25 complete games and six shutouts. The Tigers jumped into contention, finishing second in the American League, with Newhouser named MVP. Newhouser won the first Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award in 1944.[5]

By the 1945 season, Newhouser had been selected for three consecutive AL All-Star teams. The 1945 All-Star Game was cancelled on April 24 because of travel restrictions and seven out of eight scheduled interleague games were played in place of the All-Star Game on July 9 and 10 to support the American Red Cross and War Relief fund.[6][7] Newhouser became the first pitcher to repeat as MVP that season and helped the team win the World Series. He won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the AL in wins (25, against nine losses), ERA (1.81) and strikeouts (212); he also led the league in innings pitched, games started, complete games and shutouts.[8] Newhouser pitched four innings of relief on the season's final day as Detroit rallied for the pennant. Newhouser won the second Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award.[5] He became the youngest player (24) to win the award in two consecutive years. In that year's World Series, Newhouser won two games, including a complete-game victory in the deciding seventh game.[9]

Later career

Newhouser DET
Hal Newhouser's number 16 was retired by the Detroit Tigers in 1997.

In 1946, he went 26–9 with a 1.94 ERA, again leading the league in wins and ERA.[10] His 275 strikeouts was second in the league. Newhouser was runner-up in the MVP race to Ted Williams. Newhouser continued to rate among the game's best pitchers for the next five years. He won 17 games in 1947, led the AL with 21 wins in 1948 and rang up an 18–11 mark in 1949. After a 15–13 season in 1950, he hurt his arm and his workload was cut significantly.

After being released by the Tigers following the 1953 season, Newhouser signed on with the Cleveland Indians and was their top long reliever in 1954, when Cleveland won 111 games and the pennant. In his final big-league hurrah, he posted a 7–2 mark with a 2.54 ERA, and got to pitch in his second World Series. He ended his career with a record of 207–150 and a 3.06 ERA. He is the only pitcher ever to win consecutive MVP awards.[11]

Later life

Hal Newhouser statue
A statue of Newhouser in Comerica Park

Newhouser spent his first twenty years after retiring from baseball away from the sport, working as a bank vice president in Pontiac, Michigan.[12]

Following this, he served as a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Houston Astros. As a scout with the Orioles, Newhouser discovered Milt Pappas, a Detroit high schooler who went on to win 209 games in an All-Star career — two more than Newhouser did. He also signed future Cy Young Award winner Dean Chance, who later earned the trophy with Cleveland.[13]

While with the Astros, Newhouser was credited with discovering Derek Jeter, whom the Astros passed over for Phil Nevin.[14] He quit his job with the Astros after they ignored his advice to draft Jeter,[15] though he had planned to retire after that season in any case.[16]

In 1992, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His induction class included Tom Seaver, Rollie Fingers and Bill McGowan. The ceremony was attended by a then-record-setting crowd of 20,000 people.[17] The Tigers retired Newhouser's number 16 in 1997. He died on November 10, 1998 in a hospital in Southfield, Michigan. He had been ill with emphysema and heart problems.[1]

Personal life

During his playing days, Newhouser's teammates nicknamed him "Prince Hal" because of the way he carried himself.[18] His wife, Beryl Newhouser, said that she could not ever remember seeing him with his shirttail untucked.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ MLB cancelled the 1945 All-Star Game and did not name All-Stars that season.

References

  1. ^ a b c Goldstein, Richard (November 11, 1998). "Hal Newhouser, 77, a Hall of Fame pitcher". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  2. ^ "Hal Newhouser Stats". BaseballReference.com. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "Hal Newhouser Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Hal Newhouser Stats". BaseballReference.com. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Pitcher of the Year
  6. ^ Baseball Did You Know? – VII, 1945 All Star Game Replacements [1] Retrieved July 28, 2015
  7. ^ Baseball Almanac [2] Retrieved July 8, 2015
  8. ^ "Hal Newhouser Stats". BaseballReference.com. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  9. ^ "Hall of Famer Newhouser dies". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 1998. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "Hal Newhouser Stats". BaseballReference.com. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "MLB Most Valuable Player MVP Awards & Cy Young Awards Winners". BaseballReference.com. Sports Reference, LLC.
  12. ^ Olney, Buster. "Jeter: Dynasty's child". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  13. ^ Wancho, Joseph, et al (eds.) (2014). Pitching to the Pennant: The 1954 Cleveland Indians. University of Nebraska Press. p. 219. ISBN 0803254717.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Buster Olney (August 23, 2004). "Jeter: Dynasty's child". ESPN. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  15. ^ Olney, Buster (October 17, 2001). "Baseball – What Can We Do Next? Just Watch Jeter Play". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  16. ^ Nightengale, Bob (April 1, 2014). "Hal Newhouser, Phil Nevin and how Derek Jeter almost didn't become a Yankee". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  17. ^ Holtzman, Jerome (August 4, 1992). "Constant change keeps Hall Of Fame up to date". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  18. ^ Stewart, Mark. "Hal Newhouser". sabr.org. Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Retrieved October 8, 2018.

External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Bob Feller
American League Pitching Triple Crown
1945
Succeeded by
Roger Clemens
1944 Major League Baseball season

The 1944 Major League Baseball season saw the Cardinals win the World Series four games to two over the Browns in an all-St. Louis Fall Classic.

1944 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1944 throughout the world.

1945 Detroit Tigers season

The 1945 Detroit Tigers was the team's 45th since they entered the American League in 1901. The team won the American League pennant, then went on to win the 1945 World Series, defeating the Chicago Cubs 4 games to 3. It was the second World Series championship for the Tigers. Detroit pitcher Hal Newhouser was named the American League's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season.

1945 Major League Baseball season

The 1945 Major League Baseball season. There were 16 teams, eight in both the American League and the National League respectively.

1945 World Series

The 1945 World Series matched the American League Champion Detroit Tigers against the National League Champion Chicago Cubs. The Tigers won the Series four games to three, giving them their second championship and first since 1935.

Paul Richards picked up four runs batted in in the seventh game of the series, to lead the Tigers to the 9–3 game win, and 4–3 Series win.

The World Series again used the 3–4 wartime setup for home field sites, instead of the normal 2–3–2. Although the major hostilities of World War II had ended, some of the rules were still in effect. Many of the majors' better players were still in military service. Warren Brown, author of a history of the Cubs in 1946, commented on this by titling one chapter "World's Worst Series". He also cited a famous quote of his, referencing himself anonymously and in the third person. When asked who he liked in the Series, he answered, "I don't think either one of them can win it."

In a similar vein, Frank Graham jokingly called this Series "the fat men versus the tall men at the office picnic."

One player decidedly not fitting that description was the Tigers' slugger Hank Greenberg, who had been discharged from military service early. He hit the only two Tigers homers in the Series, and scored seven runs overall and also drove in seven.

The Curse of the Billy Goat originated in this Series before the start of Game 4. Having last won the Series in 1908, the Cubs owned the dubious record of both the longest league pennant drought and the longest World Series drought in history, not winning another World Series until 2016.

The Series was a rematch of the 1935 World Series. In that Series' final game, Stan Hack led off the top of the ninth inning of Game 6 with a triple but was stranded, and the Cubs lost the game and the Series. Hack was still with the Cubs in 1945. According to Warren Brown's account, Hack was seen surveying the field before the first Series game. When asked what he was doing, Hack responded, "I just wanted to see if I was still standing there on third base."

1945 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1945 throughout the world.

1946 Detroit Tigers season

The 1946 Detroit Tigers finished the season with a record of 92–62, twelve games behind the Boston Red Sox. The season was their 46th since they entered the American League in 1901.

1950 Detroit Tigers season

The 1950 Detroit Tigers had a record of 95–59 (.617), the seventh-best winning percentage in the Tigers' 107-year history. After a tight back-and-forth pennant race, they finished in second place, three games behind a Yankees team that swept the Phillies in the 1950 World Series.

1952 Detroit Tigers season

The 1952 Detroit Tigers had a record of 50–104 (.325) — the worst record in Tigers' history until the 2003 Tigers lost 119 games. Virgil Trucks became the third pitcher in major league history to throw two no-hitters in one season.

1953 Detroit Tigers season

The 1953 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth in the American League with a record of 60–94, 40½ games behind the New York Yankees.

1954 Cleveland Indians season

The 1954 Cleveland Indians advanced to the World Series for the first time in six years. It was the team's third American League championship in franchise history. The Indians' 111-43 record is the all-time record for winning percentage by an American League team (.721), as this was before 162 games were played in a season.

For more than 60 years, Cleveland had been the only team in Major League Baseball to have compiled two different 11-game winning streaks within the same season, until the Toronto Blue Jays were able to accomplish the rare feat during the 2015 regular season.However, their great regular-season record would not be enough to win the World Series, as the Indians lost in four games to the New York Giants, after which the Indians would not return to the Fall Classic until 1995.

1992 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1992 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Rollie Fingers and Tom Seaver.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected two, Bill McGowan and Hal Newhouser.

Detroit Tigers award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team.

Ed Sauer

Edward Sauer (January 3, 1919 – July 1, 1988) was an American professional baseball player. An outfielder, he appeared in 189 Major League games in 1943–1945 and in 1949 for the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Braves. He stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, weighed 188 pounds (85 kg) and threw and batted right-handed.

The younger brother of slugger Hank Sauer, Ed was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended Elon College. His pro career extended for a dozen years, 1940 through 1951. He was a member of the pennant-winning 1945 Cubs and appeared as a pinch hitter twice (in games 5 and 7) during the 1945 World Series, striking out each time against Baseball Hall of Fame left-handed pitcher Hal Newhouser.During his Major League career, Sauer collected 117 hits, including 25 doubles, two triples and five home runs.

Ken Macha

Kenneth Edward Macha (; born September 29, 1950) is a former Major League Baseball third baseman and manager. He managed the Oakland Athletics from 2003–2006, including American League Western Division championships in both his first and final seasons with the team, and later managed the Milwaukee Brewers (2009–10).

Previously, Macha played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays in a span of six seasons from 1974–1981. He was a first cousin to Hal Newhouser. In the offseason, he lives in Murrysville, Pennsylvania with his family. Macha frequently appears on Root Sports Pittsburgh as a postgame analyst for the Pirates.

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.

Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award

Sporting News established the Pitcher of the Year Award in 1944. Until the award was replaced by two separate awards in 2013, it was given annually to the pitcher in each league having the most outstanding season. No awards were given in 1946 or 1947. This award was established before there was a Cy Young Award. The Cy Young Award is voted by baseball writers from each city, and critics claim the writers who follow a particular team or player throughout a season are naturally disposed to vote for him. Starting in 2013, the Starting Pitcher of the Year Award and Relief Pitcher of the Year Award are given annually to the starting and relief pitchers in each league judged by Sporting News baseball experts as having had the most outstanding season, and is one of the oldest and most prestigious pitching awards in Major League Baseball.

Steve Biras

Stephen Alexander Biras (February 26, 1922 – April 21, 1965) was a Major League Baseball second baseman who played for one season. He played for the Cleveland Indians from September 15, 1944 to September 26, 1944.

Biras originally played semi-pro baseball in St. Louis before being signed by the Cleveland Indians. He played in only two games. He debuted on September 15, 1944 against the Detroit Tigers, pinch hitting for pitcher Ray Poat in the fifth inning with Cleveland trailing 5-0. Against Detroit pitching ace, and 1944 American League MVP Hal Newhouser, Biras singled in his first Major League at bat. This game would be Newhouser's 25th victory in a season in which he won 29 games.Biras' last game came on September 26 in an 8-3 loss to the Washington Senators. Biras came on as a substitute for second baseman Ray Mack, and made one fielding error, one putout and one fielding assist for a fielding average of .667. In his lone at bat in the game, Biras hit a single off of Dutch Leonard, driving in two runners (RBI's).

After the 1944 season ended, he was assigned to the Wilkes-Barre Barons, but refused to report to the team. He instead returned to his semi-pro team in St. Louis, ending his professional career. Biras died on April 21, 1965 in St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 43.

Major League Baseball pitchers who have won the Triple Crown
BBWAA Vote
Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
Ford C. Frick Award
Pitchers
Catchers
First basemen
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Third basemen
Shortstops
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Executives /
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championships (4)
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