Hal Newhouser

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Harold Newhouser
(Prince Hal)

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1992

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Biographical Information[edit]

Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser was a great pitcher during the years of World War II and for a number of years after the war. Late in his career he was a productive reliever for the 1954 Cleveland Indians team which won 111 games. He won two MVP Awards and played in the World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1945 and the Cleveland Indians in 1954.

A cousin of Ken Macha, "Prince Hal" was in the minors only one year, 1939, and came up to the majors at age 18 near the end September of 1939. In 1940, he went 9-9 as the youngest player on the pennant-winning Tigers team. He did not appear in the 1940 World Series, which the Tigers lost in seven games.

"Hal had an overhand curve that nobody has got a hit off yet this season. It's the best pitch I've ever seen. ... He threw three of 'em to Joe DiMaggio and Joe couldn't even foul 'em." - Birdie Tebbetts, 1946

Newhouser also led the American League in victories in 1948 with 21, and had 18 victories in 1949.

Newhouser won more games before his 30th birthday than any other pitcher of the live ball era with 188. He won his 189th game on his 30th birthday but his arm had almost fallen off by that point, and he ended his career with "only" 207 wins.

There has long been a question as to whether Newhouser deserved his election to the Hall of Fame because most of his great years came during World War II. The argument on his behalf points out that many of the pitchers in the list below crashed in their early 30s; that Newhouser had established himself as a quality young arm at an extremely young age before the war; and that most of his defenders point to his 1946 season, when he won 20 of his first 22 starts and finished second in the MVP vote. That season Newhouser earned his 20th victory in the Tigers' 91st game, a pace no pitcher has since matched, not even Denny McLain during his 31-win season in 1968.

Here's the complete list of most wins by a pitcher in the Retrosheet era prior to their age 30 season (info from bb-ref.com) (through 2011):

After his pitching career, Newhouser scouted for the Baltimore Orioles (1956-1961) and Cleveland Indians (1961-1964). It was Newhouser who signed Dean Chance for the Orioles in 1959. He later became a vice-president at the Community National Bank of Pontiac, Michigan while also working as a part-time scout for the Houston Astros.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 7-time AL All-Star (1942-1948)
  • 2-time AL MVP (1944 & 1945)
  • AL Pitcher's Triple Crown (1945)
  • 2-time AL ERA Leader (1945 & 1946)
  • 4-time AL Wins Leader (1944-1946 & 1948)
  • AL Innings Pitched Leader (1945)
  • 2-time AL Strikeouts Leader (1944 & 1945)
  • 2-time AL Complete Games Leader (1945 & 1947)
  • AL Shutouts Leader (1945)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 7 (1944-1950)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 4 (1944-1946 & 1948)
  • 25 Wins Seasons: 3 (1944-1946)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 7 (1944-1950)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1944 & 1945)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 2 (1945 & 1946)
  • Won a World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1945
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1992

1943 1944 1945
Spud Chandler Hal Newhouser Hal Newhousr
1944 1945 1946
Hal Newhouser Hal Newhouser Ted Williams

Related Sites[edit]