Herbert Jefferis Pennock (February 10, 1894 – January 30, 1948) was an American professional baseball pitcher and front-office executive. He played in Major League Baseball from 1912 through 1933, and is best known for his time spent with the star-studded New York Yankee teams of the mid to late 1920s and early 1930s.
Connie Mack signed Pennock to his Philadelphia Athletics in 1912. After using Pennock sparingly, and questioning his competitive drive, Mack sold Pennock to the Boston Red Sox in 1915. After returning from military service in 1919, Pennock became a regular contributor for the Red Sox. The Yankees acquired Pennock from the Red Sox after the 1922 season, and he served as a key member of the pitching staff as the Yankees won four World Series championships during his tenure with the team. After retiring as a player, Pennock served as a coach and farm system director for the Red Sox, and as general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Pennock was regarded as one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in baseball history. Mack later called his sale of Pennock to the Red Sox his greatest mistake. Pennock died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1948; later that year, he was posthumously inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Pennock in 1934
|Born: February 10, 1894|
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
|Died: January 30, 1948 (aged 53)|
New York, New York
|May 14, 1912, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 27, 1934, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Earned run average||3.60|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||77.69% (eighth ballot)|
Pennock was born on February 10, 1894, in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. His father, Theodore Pennock, and mother Mary Louise Pennock (née Sharp) were of Scotch-Irish and Quaker descent. His ancestors came to the United States with William Penn. Herb was the youngest of four children.
Pennock attended Westtown School and Cedarcroft Boarding School, where he played for the baseball team. After struggling as a first baseman, with a weak offensive output and throwing arm that resulted in curved throws, his Cedarcroft coach converted Pennock into a pitcher.
While pitching at Cedarcroft, Pennock threw a no-hitter to catcher Earle Mack, the son of Connie Mack, manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, in 1910. Pennock agreed to sign with the Athletics at a later date. Mack signed Pennock in 1912 to play for his collegiate team based in Atlantic City. Pennock's father insisted that he sign under an alias in order to protect his collegiate eligibility. Pennock threw a no-hitter against a traveling Negro league baseball team, and Mack promoted him to the Athletics. Mack intended for Pennock to be one of the prospects who would replace star pitchers Eddie Plank, Chief Bender, and Jack Coombs.
Pennock made his major league debut with the Athletics during the 1912 season on May 14, allowing one hit in four innings pitched. He was the youngest person to play in the American League (AL) that season. Former major leaguer Mike Grady, a neighbor of Pennock's in Kennett Square, took Pennock under his wing, while Bender taught Pennock to throw a screwball.
Pennock missed most of the 1913 season with an illness, but was able to rejoin the team late in the season. In the 1914 season, Pennock posted an 11–4 win–loss record with a 2.79 earned run average (ERA) in 151 2⁄3 innings pitched for the Athletics, and pitched three scoreless innings in the 1914 World Series, which the Athletics lost to the Boston Braves. Mack let Bender go after the season, naming Pennock his Opening Day starting pitcher in 1915. On Opening Day, Pennock threw a one-hit complete game shutout against the Boston Red Sox. However, as the Athletics struggled, Pennock's nonchalant playing style drew Mack's ire. Concluding that Pennock "lacked ambition", Mack sold Pennock to the Red Sox for the waiver price of $2,500 ($61,916 in current dollar terms). Mack later regarded this sale as his greatest mistake.
With a deep pitching staff in place, the Red Sox loaned Pennock to the Providence Grays of the International League in August for the remainder of the 1915 season. He split the 1916 season between the Red Sox and the Buffalo Bisons, also in the International League. With Buffalo, Pennock pitched to a 1.67 ERA, as Buffalo won the league pennant. Though the Red Sox won the 1915 and 1916 World Series, Pennock did not appear in either series.
Pitching in minor league baseball, Pennock began to regain confidence. However, Boston manager Jack Barry used Pennock sparingly in the 1917 season, and Pennock enlisted in the United States Navy in 1918. Pennock pitched for a team fielded by the Navy, defeating a team composed of members of the United States Army in an exhibition for George VI, the King of England, in Stamford Bridge. After the game, Ed Barrow, the new manager of the Red Sox, signed Pennock to a new contract after promising to use him regularly during the 1919 season.
Pennock received only one start apiece in the months of April and May, as the 1919 Red Sox relied on George Dumont, Bill James, and Bullet Joe Bush, leading Pennock to threaten to quit in late-May unless Barrow fulfilled his earlier promise to Pennock. Barrow continued to use Pennock regularly after Memorial Day, and Pennock finished the season with a 16–8 win-loss record and a 2.71 ERA in 219 innings pitched. He served as the team's ace pitcher in the 1920 season, but subsequently settled in as the Red Sox' third starter. After the 1922 Red Sox campaign, in which he went 10–17, and had seven wild pitches, leading the AL, the New York Yankees began to negotiate with the Red Sox to acquire Pennock. The Yankees traded Norm McMillan, George Murray, and Camp Skinner to the Red Sox for Pennock that offseason.
Pennock pitched to a 19–6 win-loss record in the 1923 season, his first with the Yankees, leading the American League (AL) in winning percentage (.760) and finishing sixth in wins. Pitching in the 1923 World Series, Pennock defeated the New York Giants in game two, on October 11, to end their eight-game World Series winning streak. He recorded a save in securing the Yankees' win in game four, and pitched to the win in game six on one day of rest, clinching the Yankees' first World Series championship. Umpire Billy Evans called it "the greatest pitching performance I have ever seen", as Pennock "had nothing."
In the 1924 season, he pitched to a 21–9 win-loss record with a 2.83 ERA while striking out a career-high 101 batters. His win total was second in the AL, behind Walter Johnson, while his ERA was third behind Johnson and Tom Zachary, and he finished fourth in strikeouts behind Johnson, Howard Ehmke, and teammate Bob Shawkey. Pennock's 277 innings pitched and 1.220 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) ratio led the AL in the 1925 season, while his 2.96 ERA was second-best, behind Stan Coveleski. In the 1926 season, he posted a career-high 23 wins, finishing second in the AL to George Uhle. He again led the AL in WHIP (1.265), and issued the fewest walks per nine innings pitched (1.453). During the pennant race, The Sporting News called Pennock the "best left-hander in the majors". Pennock earned the wins in game one and game five of the 1926 World Series. He finished game seven of the series, which the Yankees lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Yankees reached the World Series, facing the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pennock pitched a complete game against the Pirates in game three of the 1927 World Series, not allowing a hit until the eighth inning. Pennock's performance drew praise from teammate Babe Ruth. The Yankees swept the series from Pittsburgh. After pitching a three-hit shutout against the Red Sox on August 12, 1928, he missed the remainder of the season, including the 1928 World Series, with an arm injury. His five shutouts and 0.085 home runs per nine innings pitched led the AL. His 2.56 ERA trailed only Garland Braxton, while his 17 wins tied for eighth place. Though the Yankees defeated the Cardinals in the 1928 World Series, the Yankees' starting rotation without Pennock was likened to "a three-stringed ukulele."
In the 1929 season, Pennock saw his pitching time and pitching quality diminish. Over the rest of his career, he never posted more than 189 innings pitched in a season and his ERA rose to over 4.00. He suffered from bouts of neuritis in 1929 and 1930. Pennock won his 200th career game during the 1929 season, becoming the third left-handed pitcher to reach that mark. He led the AL in walks per nine innings pitched in 1930 (1.151) and 1931 (1.426). Pennock pitched four innings of relief against the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series, recording two saves. The New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America named him their player of the year.
In 1933, serving exclusively as a relief pitcher, Pennock had a 7–4 win-loss record in 23 appearances. After the 1933 season, the Yankees honored Pennock with a testimonial dinner on January 6, 1934, and then gave him his release.
Eddie Collins, a former teammate with the Athletics now serving as the general manager of the Red Sox, signed Pennock to their 1934 roster. In his last season pitching in the major leagues, Pennock served as a relief pitcher for the Red Sox.
Pennock retired with a career record of 241 wins, 162 losses, and a 3.60 ERA. Pennock pitched in five World Series, one with Philadelphia and four with New York. He was a member of four World Series championship teams. In World Series play, Pennock amassed a 5–0 career win-loss record with three saves, becoming the second pitcher to win five World Series games, after Coombs. Pennock was a part of seven World Series championship teams (1913, 1915, 1916, 1923, 1927, 1928, and 1932), though he played in four World Series' as a member of the winning team. Many, including Mack, consider Pennock among the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time.
Pennock became the general manager of the Charlotte Hornets, a Red Sox' farm team of the Piedmont League, prior to the 1935 season. He returned to the Red Sox in 1936, serving as the first base and pitching coach under manager Joe Cronin. He served in this role through the 1938 season. In 1939, Pennock served as the assistant supervisor of Boston's minor league system, reporting to Billy Evans. Pennock succeeded Evans as Director of Minor League Operations late in the 1940 season.
In December 1943, R. R. M. Carpenter Jr., the new owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, hired Pennock as his general manager, after receiving a recommendation from Mack. Carpenter gave Pennock a lifetime contract. Pennock filled Carpenter's duties when the team's owner was drafted into service during World War II in 1944. As general manager, Pennock changed the team's name to the "Blue Jays"—a temporary measure abandoned after the 1949 season—and invested $1 million ($14,232,514 in current dollar terms) into players who would become known as the "Whiz Kids", who won the National League pennant in 1950, including Curt Simmons and Willie Jones. He also created a "Grandstand Managers Club", the first in baseball history, allowing fans to give feedback to the team, and advocated for the repeal of the Bonus Rule.
Pennock opposed racial integration in baseball. In 1947, when Jackie Robinson was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pennock called Dodgers team president Branch Rickey before the Dodgers' series in Philadelphia and told him not to "bring that nigger here with the rest of the team." He further threatened to boycott a 1947 game between the Phillies and Dodgers if Robinson played.
In 1948, at the age of 53, one week and four days before his 54th birthday, Pennock collapsed in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was pronounced dead upon his arrival at Midtown Hospital. Pennock had appeared to be in good health, even inviting friends to join him at Madison Square Garden to attend a boxing match, prior to being stricken.
Pennock was honored with "Herb Pennock Day" on April 30, 1944, in Kennett Square. Weeks after his death, Pennock was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. An attempt to erect a statue in Kennett Square in his honor was blocked due to his support of segregation in baseball.
Fred Heimach, a teammate of Pennock, once called him the smartest ball player he knew. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included Pennock in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. He was inducted in the International League Hall of Fame in 1948. Noted baseball photographer Charles M. Conlon considered Pennock one of his favorite subjects to photograph.
Pennock was nicknamed "the Squire of Kennett Square." He married Esther M. Freck, his high school sweetheart and the younger sister of a childhood friend, on October 28, 1915. Esther often attended spring training and traveled with her husband's team during the season. Together, the couple had a daughter, Jane (born 1920), and a son, Joe (born 1925). Jane later married Eddie Collins Jr.. While a member of the Yankees, Pennock rented an apartment on Grand Concourse in The Bronx, where his wife and children stayed while the Yankees played their home games.
| Boston Red Sox Pitching Coach
| Philadelphia Phillies General Manager
The 1915 Boston Red Sox season was the fifteenth season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League (AL) with a record of 101 wins and 50 losses. The team then faced the National League (NL) champion Philadelphia Phillies in the 1915 World Series, which the Red Sox won in five games to capture the franchise's third World Series.1919 Boston Red Sox season
The 1919 Boston Red Sox season was the nineteenth season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished sixth in the American League (AL) with a record of 66 wins and 71 losses.1921 Boston Red Sox season
The 1921 Boston Red Sox season was the 21st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League (AL) with a record of 75 wins and 79 losses.1923 New York Giants season
The 1923 New York Giants season was the franchise's 41st season. The Giants won the National League pennant with a 95-58 record. The team went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the 1923 World Series, four games to two.1923 New York Yankees season
The 1923 New York Yankees season was the 23rd season for this American League franchise and its 21st season in New York. Manager Miller Huggins led the team to their third straight pennant with a 98–54 record, 16 games ahead of the second place Detroit Tigers. The Yankees moved into the now famous Yankee Stadium. In the 1923 World Series, they avenged their 1921 and 1922 losses by defeating the New York Giants in 6 games, 4 games to 2, and won their first World Series title.1923 World Series
In the 1923 World Series, the New York Yankees beat the New York Giants in six games. This would be the first of the Yankees' 27 World Series championships (as of 2018). The series was not played in a 2–3–2 format: as with the previous two Series (where both clubs had shared the Polo Grounds) the home field alternated each game, though this time it involved switching ballparks, as the first Yankee Stadium had opened this season.1926 World Series
The 1926 World Series, the 23rd playing of Major League Baseball's championship series, pitted the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals against the American League champion New York Yankees. The Cardinals defeated the Yankees four games to three in the best-of-seven series, which took place from October 2 to 10, 1926, at Yankee Stadium and Sportsman's Park.
This was the first World Series appearance (and first National League pennant win) for the Cardinals, and would be the first of eleven World Series championships in Cardinals history. The Yankees were playing in their fourth World Series in six years after winning their first American League pennant in 1921 and their first world championship in 1923. They would play in another 36 World Series (and win 26 of those) through the end of the 2018 season.In Game 1, Herb Pennock pitched the Yankees to a 2–1 win over the Cards. In Game 2, pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander evened the Series for St. Louis with a 6–2 victory. Knuckleballer Jesse Haines' shutout in Game 3 gave St. Louis a 2–1 Series lead. In the Yankees' 10–5 Game 4 win, Babe Ruth hit three home runs, a World Series record equaled only four times since. According to newspaper reports, Ruth had promised a sickly boy named Johnny Sylvester to hit a home run for him in Game 4. After Ruth's three-homer game, the boy's condition miraculously improved. The newspapers' account of the story is disputed by contemporary baseball historians, but it remains one of the most famous anecdotes in baseball history. Pennock again won for the Yankees in Game 5, 3–2.
Cards' player-manager Rogers Hornsby chose Alexander to start Game 6, and used him in relief to close out Game 7. Behind Alexander, the Cardinals won the final two games of the series, and with it the world championship. In Game 7, the Yankees, trailing 3–2 in the bottom of the ninth inning and down to their last out, Ruth walked, bringing up Bob Meusel. Ruth, successful in half of his stolen base attempts in his career, took off for second base on the first pitch. Meusel swung and missed, and catcher Bob O'Farrell threw to second baseman Hornsby who tagged Ruth out, ending Game 7 and thereby crowning his Cardinals World Series champions for the first time. The 1926 World Series is the only Series to date which ended with a baserunner being caught stealing.1927 New York Yankees season
The 1927 New York Yankees season was their 25th season. The team finished with a record of 110–44, winning their fifth pennant and finishing 19 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics and were tied for first or better for the whole season. New York was managed by Miller Huggins. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they swept the Pittsburgh Pirates. This Yankees team is known for their feared lineup, which was nicknamed "Murderers' Row". This team is widely considered to be the best baseball team in the history of MLB.1927 World Series
In the 1927 World Series, the New York Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games. This was the first sweep of a National League team by an American League team.
That year, the Yankees led the American League in runs scored, hits, triples, home runs, base on balls, batting average, slugging average and on-base percentage. It featured legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig at their peaks. The team won a then-league record 110 games, finished with a 19-game lead over second place, and are considered by many to be the greatest team in the history of baseball.
The 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates, with MVP Paul Waner, led the National League in runs, hits, batting average and on-base percentage.1928 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1928 season was their 26th season. The team finished with a record of 101–53, winning their sixth pennant, finishing 2.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics. New York was managed by Miller Huggins. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they swept the St. Louis Cardinals. Pitcher Urban Shocker died in September due to complications from pneumonia.1932 New York Yankees season
The 1932 New York Yankees season was the team's 30th season in New York, and its 32nd season overall. The team finished with a record of 107–47, winning their seventh pennant, finishing 13 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics. New York was managed by future Hall of Famer Joe McCarthy. A record nine future Hall of Famers played on the team (Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing, Babe Ruth, Joe Sewell).
The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they swept the Chicago Cubs. They are the only major-league team ever to go an entire season without being shut out.1932 World Series
The 1932 World Series was a four-game sweep by the American League champions New York Yankees over the National League champions Chicago Cubs. By far its most noteworthy moment was Babe Ruth's "called shot" home run, in his 10th and last World Series. It was punctuated by fiery arguments between the two teams, heating up the atmosphere before the World Series even began. A record 13 future Hall of Famers played in this Series, with three other future Hall of Famers also participating: umpire Bill Klem; Yankee's manager Joe McCarthy; and Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby. It was also the first in which both teams wore uniforms with numbers on the backs of the shirts.1934 Boston Red Sox season
The 1934 Boston Red Sox season was the 34th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 76 losses.1948 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1948 followed the same procedures as 1947.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from players retired less than 25 years, with provision for a runoff in case of no winner. It elected two people on the first ballot, Herb Pennock and Pie Traynor.
Old Timers Committee, with
jurisdiction over earlier players, met on no schedule and not this year.
Criticism continued that earlier players, as well as managers and other non-playing candidates, were being overlooked.Earle Combs
Earle Bryan Combs (May 14, 1899 – July 21, 1976) was an American professional baseball player who played his entire career for the New York Yankees (1924–35). Combs batted leadoff and played center field on the Yankees' fabled 1927 team (often referred to as Murderers' Row). He is one of six players on that team who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; the other five are Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Tony Lazzeri, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth.
Combs led the league in triples three times and was among the top ten in the category in several other seasons. He suffered a fractured skull and other injuries from a crash into an outfield wall in 1934, then retired after another injury the next season. Nicknamed "the Kentucky Colonel", Combs was known as a gentleman on and off the field. He remained in baseball as a coach for many years after his retirement as a player.List of Boston Red Sox coaches
The following is a list of coaches, including role(s) and year(s) of service, for the Boston Red Sox American League franchise (1901–present), known during its early history as the Boston Americans (1901–1907).List of Philadelphia Phillies owners and executives
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies compete in MLB as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. In the franchise's history, the owners and ownership syndicates of the team have employed 11 general managers (GMs) and appointed 15 team presidents. The GM controls player transactions, hiring and firing of the coaching staff, and negotiates with players and agents regarding contracts. The team president is the representative for the owner or the ownership group within the front office and is responsible for overseeing the team's staff, minor league farm system, and scouting.The longest-tenured general manager is Paul Owens, with 11 years of service to the team in that role, from 1972 to 1983. Owens also served as the team manager in 1972, and from 1983 to 1984. After this time, he served as a team executive until 2003, and was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame in recognition of his services. The longest-tenured owner is Bob Carpenter, Jr., who was the team's primary shareholder from 1943 to 1972. He appointed the team's first general manager, Herb Pennock, during his tenure. In combination with his son, Ruly, the Carpenter family owned the Phillies for nearly 50 years (until 1981) until it was sold to Bill Giles, son of former league president Warren Giles. After Giles sold his part-ownership share, the Phillies are currently owned by John S. Middleton, Jim & Pete Buck, and former team President David Montgomery. The Phillies are currently overseen by team president Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak.Majestic Park
Majestic Park (1908–18) was one of the first Major League Baseball spring training facilities and was located at the corner of Belding Street and Carson Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Today the site is still in use by Champion Christian College.
First built by the Detroit Tigers as a practice field in 1908, Majestic Park was the spring training site of the Boston Red Sox and their star pitcher Babe Ruth (1909–10, 1912–18), Cincinnati Reds (1910–11), Brooklyn Dodgers (1910) and St. Louis Browns (1911). The location later became the site of Dean Field (1935–47)/Jaycee Park (1947–present). Dean Field also served as home to the Rogers Hornsby Baseball College.
The Hot Springs Bathers minor league team and the Chicago White Sox (1948–51) minor league Spring Training were held at Jaycee Park. Jaycee Park hosted the 1952 Negro League World Series and a 1953 exhibition game featuring Jackie Robinson. The site can claim games featuring both All-time Home Run record holders, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron as among those who have played at the site. In 1914, Babe Ruth was just beginning his career (as a dominant left-handed pitcher) for the Red Sox, while a young Aaron played in the 1952 Negro League World Series.Today, the site has four historical plaques, as part of the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail. Majestic Field, Rogers Hornsby, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron each have historical plaques on the site.
Along with Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron, others who performed at the site include Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Jimmie Foxx, Gil Hodges, Harry Hooper, Cy Young, Rogers Hornsby, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Herb Pennock, Tris Speaker, and Walter Johnson. The Sporting News (1998) ranking of the greatest players ever listed: Babe Ruth (1), Ty Cobb (3), Walter Johnson (4), Hank Aaron (5) and Rogers Hornsby (9).Murderers' Row
Murderers' Row were the baseball teams of the New York Yankees in the late 1920s, widely considered one of the best teams in history. The nickname is in particular describing the first six hitters in the 1927 team lineup: Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri.
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.
|Inductees in Yankees cap|
|Inductees who played|
for the Yankees
|Inducted as a Phillie|
|Inductees who played for the Phillies|
Members of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame