Lefty Grove

Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove (March 6, 1900 – May 22, 1975) was an American professional baseball pitcher. After having success in the minor leagues during the early 1920s, Grove became a star in Major League Baseball with the American League's Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox. One of the greatest pitchers in history, Grove led the American League in wins in four separate seasons, in strikeouts seven years in a row, and had the league's lowest earned run average a record nine times. Over the course of the three years from 1929 to 1931 he twice won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA, while amassing a 79-15 record and leading the Athletics to three straight AL championships.[1] Overall, Grove won 300 games in his 17-year MLB career. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947.

Lefty Grove
Lefty Grove 1939.jpeg
Grove in 1939
Pitcher
Born: March 6, 1900
Lonaconing, Maryland
Died: May 22, 1975 (aged 75)
Norwalk, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 14, 1925, for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1941, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Win–loss record300–141
Earned run average3.06
Strikeouts2,266
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
Induction1947
Vote76.4% (third ballot)

Early life

Born in Lonaconing, Maryland to John Robert Grove (1865–1957) and Emma Catherine Beeman (1872–1959), Grove was a sandlot star in the Baltimore area during the 1910s. Grove didn't play organized baseball until he was 19 years old. In 1920, he made his professional debut with the Martinsburg Mountaineers of the class-D Blue Ridge League, where he appeared in six games. In 59 innings pitched, Grove gave up just 30 hits, and he had an earned run average (ERA) of 1.68.[2] His performance attracted the attention of Jack Dunn, Sr. (1872–1928), the manager/owner of the minor league Baltimore Orioles, who also discovered Babe Ruth.

Baltimore Orioles (minor league)

Grove joined the Baltimore Orioles in 1920, while they were playing a half-century in the minor leagues of first the old Eastern League (1903–1914) and then after 1916, in the reorganized International League of AAA ball. Grove broke into the team's pitching rotation at midseason and had a 12-2 record the rest of the way. The Orioles were in the middle of winning six straight IL titles from 1919 to 1925. Over the next four seasons, Grove posted marks of 25-10, 18-8, 27-10 and 26-6, leading the International League in strikeouts each season.

Grove remained in the minor leagues through 1924, as owner Jack Dunn refused several offers from the majors to acquire him. At the time, the Orioles were an independent operation with no major league affiliation and the International League had declared its players not subject to a major league draft. Since the reserve clause in all contracts was honored throughout organized baseball, this meant that Grove had no way to reach the majors until the Orioles became willing to trade or sell his contract. Finally, early in 1925, Dunn agreed to sell Grove's rights to Connie Mack (1862–1956) and his Philadelphia Athletics in the American League for $100,600 (equivalent to $1.44 million in 2018), the highest amount ever paid for a player at the time.

Philadelphia Athletics

Grove battled injuries as a major league rookie and posted a 10-13 mark (which would prove his only losing record in 17 major league seasons), despite leading the league in strikeouts. Grove then settled down in 1926 and won the first of a record nine earned run average (ERA) titles with a mark of 2.51. In 1927, Grove won 20 games for the first time, and a year later he led the league in wins with 24.

The Athletics won the AL pennant in three successive seasons from 1929 to 1931, as well as consecutive World Series championships in 1929 and 1930. During the Athletics' championship run, Grove led the way as the league's top pitcher, posting records of 20-6, 28-5 and 31-4. In 1931, Grove led the league in wins, ERA (2.06), strikeouts (175), winning percentage, complete games, and shutouts. His 2.06 ERA was 2.32 runs below the league average.[3] He was also chosen as league MVP in 1931, making him one of only a handful of pitchers to achieve this honor. His MVP award is the only one not enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, instead being housed at the George's Creek Library in Lonaconing, Maryland.

The Athletics contended for the next two seasons, but finished second to the New York Yankees in 1932 and third behind the Washington Senators and Yankees in 1933. In 1933, Grove became the first player in Major League Baseball history to strike out five times in a nine-inning game.[4] On December 12, 1933, team owner Connie Mack traded Grove, along with Max Bishop and Rube Walberg, to the Boston Red Sox for Bob Kline, Rabbit Warstler and $125,000.

Boston Red Sox

LeftyGroveGoudeycard
A 1933 Goudey baseball card of Grove.

Grove was unable to contribute substantially during his first year in Boston, an arm injury holding him to an 8-8 record. In 1935, however, Grove returned to form with a 20-12 record and a league-leading 2.70 ERA. In the 1936 season, he had a 2.81 ERA (winning his 7th ERA title) while recording a 17-12 record and 130 strikeouts. Grove won his eighth ERA title a year later while having a 17-9 record along with 153 strikeouts. He pitched 262 innings for the season; this was his 11th and final season where he pitched over 200 innings. Grove continued to post outstanding records, including 14-4 in 1938 and 15-4 in 1939, as well as lead the AL in ERA four times between 1935 and 1939. He had a 7-6 record in 1940 while recording a 3.99 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 153.1 innings. In his last season, he won and lost 7 games, winning his 300th game on July 25 (giving up 6 runs on 12 hits, but winning 10-6), before losing his last three major league games, ending his career on September 28, pitching just one inning in the 2nd game of a doubleheader.

Legacy

Grove retired in 1941 with a career record of 300-141. His .680 lifetime winning percentage is eighth all-time;[5] however, none of the seven men ahead of him won more than 236 games. His lifetime ERA of 3.06, when normalized to overall league ERA and adjusted for the parks in which Grove played during his career, is fourth all-time among pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched (behind Mariano Rivera, Jim Devlin, and Pedro Martínez) at 48 percent better than average.[6]

Grove was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947. He died in Norwalk, Ohio, on May 22, 1975 and was interred in the Frostburg Memorial Cemetery in Frostburg, Maryland.

In 1969 Grove was voted starting pitcher for the 100th anniversary team. In 1999, Grove was ranked number 23 on The Sporting News list of Baseball's Greatest Players.[7] He ranked second, behind only Warren Spahn, among left-handed pitchers. That same year, Grove was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In the 2001 book The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James ranked Grove as the 19th best baseball player of all-time and the 2nd best MLB pitcher of all-time.

See also

References

  1. ^ Baseball Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Lefty Grove Minor League Statistics & History
  3. ^ Baseball's Top 100: The Game's Greatest Records, p. 51, Kerry Banks, 2010, Greystone Books, Vancouver, BC, ISBN 978-1-55365-507-7
  4. ^ Solomon, Abbot Neil, "Baseball Records Illustrated", Quintet Publishing, London, 1988
  5. ^ Career Leaders & Records for Win-Loss % from Baseball-Reference
  6. ^ Career Leaders & Records for Adjusted ERA+ from Baseball-Reference
  7. ^ Baseball's 100 Greatest Players by The Sporting News

External links

Preceded by
Walter Johnson
American League Pitching Triple Crown
1930 & 1931
Succeeded by
Lefty Gomez
1925 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1925 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing second in the American League with a record of 88 wins and 64 losses.

1926 Philadelphia Athletics season

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

1928 Philadelphia Athletics season

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

1929 Philadelphia Athletics season

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

1930 Major League Baseball season

The 1930 Major League Baseball season.

1930 Philadelphia Athletics season

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

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

1930 World Series

The 1930 World Series featured the defending champion Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Athletics defeated the Cardinals in six games, 4–2. Philly's pitching ace Lefty Grove, and George Earnshaw, No. 2 man in Mr. Mack's rotation, won two games apiece. Earnshaw also pitched seven scoreless innings as Game 5 starter, but ended up with a no-decision as Grove relieved him in the eighth and took the win on Jimmie Foxx's two-run homer in the top of the ninth for the game's only scoring.

The Cardinals led the National League in runs scored and averaged six runs per game in the regular season, but could manage only two runs per game in this World Series.

This was the Athletics' fifth World Series championship win (following 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1929), and their last in Philadelphia before moving to Kansas City in 1955 and then Oakland in 1968—where they have since won four more World Series titles (1972, 1973, 1974, and 1989). Their win this year tied them with the Boston Red Sox for most World Series wins as of that point (five) until 1937, when the New York Yankees surged ahead of both in World Series wins and have gone on to amass 27 World Series championships as of 2018.

The city of Philadelphia would have to wait 50 years until its next World Series championship, when the Phillies defeated the Kansas City Royals and thus becoming the last of the "Original Sixteen" MLB franchises to accomplish the feat.

1931 Major League Baseball season

The 1931 Major League Baseball season.

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.

1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fourth playing of the mid-summer 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 7, 1936, at National League Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the home of the Boston Bees of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–3. It was the National League's first win in All-Star Game history.

1939 Boston Red Sox season

The 1939 Boston Red Sox season was the 39th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 89 wins and 62 losses.

1941 Boston Red Sox season

The 1941 Boston Red Sox season was the 41st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 84 wins and 70 losses. The team featured five future Hall of Famers: player-manager Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Ted Williams.

Dick Newsome

Heber Hampton Newsome (December 13, 1909 – December 15, 1965) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox between the 1941 and 1943 seasons. Listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 185 lb., Newsome batted and threw right-handed. A native of Ahoskie, North Carolina, he graduated from Wake Forest University.

In his rookie year, Newsome won 19 games (third in the American League) and compiled 10 shutouts, leading a Red Sox pitching rotation that included Charlie Wagner, Mickey Harris, Joe Dobson and Lefty Grove. He was considered for the MVP Award, ending ninth in the ballot.

But Newsome slumped badly the next two years, winning only eight games in each of them. After the 1943 season, he served in the Army during World War II, and then returned to his farm.

In a three-season career, Newsome posted a 35–33 record with 138 strikeouts and a 4.50 ERA in 526.0 innings pitched.

Newsome died in an automobile accident in Ahoskie, North Carolina, just two days after he turned 56 years old.

Ed Cheff

Ed Cheff is a retired college baseball coach.

Cheff graduated from Lewis & Clark College (Idaho) and started his coaching career as a high school football coach. His first baseball coaching position was with Lower Columbia College (Washington).

Cheff became the head coach at Lewis–Clark State College since 1977, winning 16 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) titles. 114 of his former players have gone on to play professionally, with 14 reaching Major League Baseball. Cheff was named NAIA coach of the year eight times. He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1994 and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame in 2006. He won the ABCA's Lefty Grove Award, given for lifetime achievement to amateur baseball. He has been a coach with the United States national baseball team (1991, 1994) and has managed the Alaska Goldpanners and Anchorage Bucs in the Alaska Baseball League.

Cheff retired in 2010. He was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.Cheff and his wife, Karen, a retired elementary school teacher, have three sons: Trever, Tyler, Toby.

George Uhle

George Ernest Uhle (September 18, 1898 – February 26, 1985) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he began his playing career with his hometown Cleveland Indians. After ten seasons, during which time he led the American League in wins, innings pitched, complete games, shutouts, and games started, he was traded in 1928 to the Detroit Tigers for Jackie Tavener and Ken Holloway. He went on to play with the New York Giants, New York Yankees, and again with the Indians. When his career ended in 1936, he had won 200 games. His lifetime batting average of .289 (393-for-1360) is still a record for a pitcher (not playing at any other position)

On May 25, 1929, the Detroit Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-5 in 21 innings. Uhle, who was the winning pitcher, pitched twenty innings to earn his eighth win of the season with no losses. The losing pitcher, Ted Lyons, pitched all 21 innings for Chicago.

Babe Ruth himself credited George with being the toughest pitcher he ever faced, although Ruth batted .336 against Uhle. Out of 714 career home runs, he got only four off Uhle. Uhle had the second most strikeouts of Ruth by a pitcher, with 25. Only Lefty Grove had more, with 27.

He was buried at Lakewood Park Cemetery in Rocky River, Ohio.

Major League Baseball All-Century Team

In 1999, the Major League Baseball All-Century Team was chosen by popular vote of fans. To select the team, a panel of experts first compiled a list of the 100 greatest Major League Baseball players from the past century. Over two million fans then voted on the players using paper and online ballots.The top two vote-getters from each position, except outfielders (nine), and the top six pitchers were placed on the team. A select panel then added five legends to create a thirty-man team:—Warren Spahn (who finished #10 among pitchers), Christy Mathewson (#14 among pitchers), Lefty Grove (#18 among pitchers), Honus Wagner (#4 among shortstops), and Stan Musial (#11 among outfielders).The nominees for the All-Century team were presented at the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Preceding Game 2 of the 1999 World Series, the members of the All-Century Team were revealed. Every living player named to the team attended.

For the complete list of the 100 players nominated, see The MLB All-Century Team.

Oakland Athletics award winners and league leaders

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

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

Robert Grove

Robert Grove may refer to:

Robert Grove (MP) for Shaftesbury

Robert Grove (bishop) (1634–1696), English Bishop of Chichester

Lefty Grove (Robert Moses Grove, 1900–1975), baseball pitcher

Bob Grove, character in the 1955 British comedy film It's a Great Day

Bob Grove (ice hockey), announcer for the Pittsburgh Penguins

Bob Grove (producer)

Rube Walberg

George Elvin Walberg (July 27, 1896 – October 27, 1978) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1923 through 1937 for the New York Giants (1923), Philadelphia Athletics (1923–1933) and Boston Red Sox (1934–1937). Walberg batted and threw left-handed. He was born in Pine City, Minnesota.

In a 15-season career, Walberg posted a 155–141 record with 1085 strikeouts and a 4.16 ERA in 2644 innings, including 15 shutouts and 140 complete games.

A consistent and durable pitcher, Walberg averaged 16 wins for the Philadelphia Athletics of Connie Mack from 1926 to 1932, with career-highs of 20 wins in 1931 and 18 in 1929. He also had a 1–1 mark with a 1.93 ERA for the Athletics in five World Series appearances. A good-hitting pitcher, Walberg collected a .179 batting average with four home runs and 84 runs batted in. When Mack dismantled the Athletics in 1933, he was sent along with Lefty Grove and Max Bishop to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for two players and $150.000. He was a spot starter and reliever with Boston during three seasons and pitched his last game at the age of forty-one.

Walberg surrendered 17 home runs to Babe Ruth, more than did any other pitcher.

Walberg died in Tempe, Arizona at age 82. In 2002, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame.

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