Ernie Shore

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Ernest Grady Shore

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Biographical Information[edit]

Ernie Shore completing a pitch, Detroit News Collection, 1917

On June 23, 1917, Ernie Shore of the Boston Red Sox pitched the most notable game of his career against the Washington Senators. Babe Ruth started the game for Boston but walked the leadoff batter, Ray Morgan. After an altercation with the home plate umpire, Ruth was ejected, and Shore came in to the game to relieve him. Morgan was caught stealing, and Shore retired the next 26 men he faced. At the time, he was credited with a perfect game, but since then, the criteria have been revised, and Shore's name has been removed from the record books (although he still gets credit for a combined no-hitter).

Shore is remembered mainly for that one game, but he was an important pitcher for several years with the Boston Red Sox of the 1910s. He won in double figures from 1914 to 1917, with his best year being 1915 when he went 19-8 with an ERA of 1.64.

Boston won the World Series in both 1915 and 1916, with Shore winning one game in 1915 and two in 1916. In the 1916 World Series, Shore pitched the key first and last games, pitching 17 2/3 innings with an ERA of 1.53.

Shore had come up with the New York Giants in 1912. In his lone appearance for the team on June 20th, he received credit for a save in spite of allowing 10 runs 8 hits in one inning of work (only 3 of the runs were earned, because of an error he had committed himself). Thankfully, the Giants had a 21-2 lead over the Boston Braves when they turned to the raw rookie, so they still won in spite of his struggles. Such a performance would not earn him a save under today's rules, it goes without saying. After that brief sting, he was with the top minor league team of the time, the Baltimore Orioles of the International League, with Babe Ruth, who would accompany him to Boston. He then closed out his career with Ruth with the New York Yankees.

Shore had a better ERA than Ruth in 1914 and 1915, but not in 1916 or 1917. He was in the military in 1918. On October 5, 1915, in a tune-up for the World Series, he started a game against the Yankees and retired all three batters he faced in the 1st inning - Hugh High, Roger Peckinpaugh and Luke Boone - then gave way to Dutch Leonard in the 2nd. He was the last starting pitcher to pitch a perfect 1st inning and then give way to a reliever for over a century, as the next was Sergio Romo of the Tampa Bay Rays, who struck out the side in the 1st before giving way to Ryan Yarbrough in a planned "bullpen game" against the Los Angeles Angels on May 19, 2018.

The home of the Winston-Salem Warthogs was called Ernie Shore Field, although it has been renamed since being turned over to Wake Forest University. After baseball, he was the sheriff of Forsyth County, North Carolina for 34 years. Singer Kenny Shore, a relative of Ernie, has recorded The Ballad of Ernie Shore.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1915 & 1916)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1915-1917)
  • Won two World Series with the Boston Red Sox (1915 & 1916)

Related Sites[edit]