Henry Washington Wyse
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11½", Weight 185 lb.
- Debut September 7, 1942
- Final Game June 14, 1951
- Born March 1, 1918 in Lunsford, AR USA
- Died October 23, 2000 in Pryor, OK USA
Hank Wyse, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, injured his back when he fell off a welding platform while working in a war plant at Miami, OK during World War II. X-Rays revealed no serious damage to the spinal region and it wouldn’t handicap his baseball career. The right-hander from Arkansas was 4-F during the war because of the injury which forced him to have to wear a corset when he pitched.
The stocky pitcher had signed with the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent before the 1940 season and spent his first season in pro baseball with the Moline Plowboys of the class B Three-I League and the Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League finishing the split season with a 10-9 record and a 4.93 ERA.
After winning 20 and losing but 4 for Tulsa in 1941 with a 2.09 ERA and then doing almost as well with the Oilers again in 1942 with a 20-11 record and a 2.56 ERA, Hank was called to Wrigley Field early in September. He made his big league debut on September 7th, finishing out the year with the Cubs with a 2-1 record and a 1.93 ERA. One of his wins was a shutout.
Wyse went 9-7 for the Cubs in 1943 and won 16 but lost 15 in 1944, while pitching 257 innings. It had been well over a half century since the Chicago Cubs had won a pennant, and the top winner for the 1945 National League pennant-winning Cubs team was 22-game-winner Henry Washington Wyse. The Cubs had a 98-56 record and held on to beat the second-place [1945 Cardinals|[St. Louis Cardinals]] by a three-game margin.
The Cubs hooked up against the Detroit Tigers in the 1945 World Series and Hank started the second game against the Tigers, pitching 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and 4 runs as the Cubs lost, 4-1. Hank also made brief appearances in Games 6 and 7 but in a losing cause as the Tigers would go on to victory in the series, 4 games to 3. As he was the last man to take the mound in Game 7, he was the last player to pitch for the Cubs in the World Series until they made their triumphant return in 2016.
Hank went 14-12 with a 2.68 ERA in 1946 and fell to 6-9 in 1947. Wyse then dropped into the minors, where he had two good years for the Shreveport Sports in 1948 and 1949. On November 17, 1949, he was picked up by the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1949 Rule V Draft. Wyse was done by then, going 9-14 for the Athletics in 1950. He pitched for the A's and Washington Senators in 1951, closing out his major league career with a 79-70 record and a 3.52 ERA in eight seasons of big league ball.
Wyse spent three more years in the minors with the Kansas City Blues of the American Association in 1951, the Beaumont Roughnecks in the Texas League in 1952 and finishing out with the Tyler East Texans of the Big State League in 1953. Wyse had a great minor league run, going 115-69 and a 3.17 ERA while pitching 1,495 innings.
In an interview for Oldtyme Baseball News prior to his death on October 22, 2000, at age 83 in Pryor, OK, Hank said: "I guess I'm considered a war time player, but I think I did pretty well in '46 when all the guys were back."
- NL All-Star (1945)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1944 & 1945)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1945)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1944-1946)