George Blaeholder

From BR Bullpen


George Franklin Blaeholder

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 175 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

George Blaeholder was signed as an amateur free agent by coach Jimmy Austin of the St. Louis Browns before the 1923 season ("This fellow looked good in a few games that I watched, that I took the liberty to sign him for our club," Austin wrote in a letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in early 1923) and spent five years in the minors (1923-1927) plus a couple of one-night stands with the Browns in 1925 and 1927. After finishing 1927 with the Tulsa Oilers and going 26-9 while pitching 313 innings, the Browns brought him up to stay in 1928.

Blaeholder spent the next seven seasons with the Browns, winning in double digits each of those years, but having only one year (1932) in which he managed to reach .500 with a 14-14 record while pitching 258 innings. On May 19, 1935, George was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics for Sugar Cain and Ed Coleman. He went 6-10 for the 1935 Athletics and was picked up on waivers by the Cleveland Indians on January 27, 1936. At age 32, Blaeholder pitched well for the Indians, going 8-4 while pitching 134 innings, his best record during his 11 seasons in the big leagues. This would also be his last year in the Show; overall, he had produced a 104-125 record with a 4.54 ERA. He was on the mound quite often, pitching 1,914 innings.

George wasn't quite ready to look for other work just yet and dropped down a step to the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, spending the next six years pitching like he had done in the majors. Of the six years with Milwaukee, he did have two years above .500 when he went 7-6 in 1939 and 9-7 in 1941. George finally gave the game up and ended his eleven-year minor league run with a 139-103 record and a 4.13 ERA, while pitching 2,121 innings.

Besides the things we know are true - Blaeholder pitching 20 years in professional baseball, appearing in 852 games while pitching 4,035 innings - there is the story that George had a lot to do with developing the pitch called the "slider". One could say he was around long enough to have done it. In reference to George's "slider" or "nickel curve", depending on who you are talking with, during 1929, George's second full year in the majors, the young man led the American League in shutouts with four. As things go, on May 21, 1931 he threw Babe Ruth his 600th home run pitch, and as time went on George wound up leading all of baseball by giving up 176 home runs in 1,914 innings (one each 11 innings), during his major league career, of which Lou Gehrig accounted for 13. He led the league in home runs allowed in both 1928 and 1933; he also led the circuit in hits allowed in 1934.

After baseball, George returned to his native state of California and died at his home of liver cancer on December 29, 1947, in Garden Grove, CA, at the age of 43.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL Shutouts Leader (1929)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1933)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1928, 1929 & 1930-1934)

Related Sites[edit]