Howard Ehmke

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Howard John Ehmke

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Biographical Information[edit]

On April 15, [[1927], Howard Ehmke gave up the first of Babe Ruth's 60 home runs while pitching for the Philadelphia A's.

He is best remembered as the surprise starter and winner of Game One of the 1929 World Series. With the Athletics and Chicago Cubs leading their respective leagues comfortably at the end of the 1929 season, A's manager Connie Mack sent Ehmke on the road to scout the team's World Series opponent from the National League. He then surprised everyone by naming the 35-year old Ehmke, who had gone 7-2, 4.24 in only 11 games that season, to start the Series opener. Using the wisdom of his 14 major league seasons and the information on Cubs hitters gathered during his scouting assignment, Ehmke dazzled his opponents, striking out a then-record 13 batters in pitching the A's to a 3-1 complete game victory.

Less famously, Ehmke invented the baseball infield tarp and also founded a firm to manufacture it.[1] His first sale was to Mack. Philadelphia-based Ehmke Manufacturing continues to make tarps and many other textile-related products to this day.

Ehmke in 1916 was a pitcher for the Syracuse Stars, with a record of 31-7, leading the Stars to the championship of the New York State League.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL Innings Pitched Leader (1924)
  • AL Complete Games Leader (1925)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 6 (1919, 1920, 1922-1924 & 1926)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1923)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 8 (1917, 1919, 1920 & 1922-1926)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1923 & 1924)
  • Won a World Series with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929

Further Reading[edit]

  • Joseph L. Reichler: "Iron Arms", in The World Series: A 75th Anniversary, Simon and Schuster, New York, NY, 1978, pp. 30-31.
  • Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg: Comeback Pitchers: The Remarkable Careers of Howard Ehmke and Jack Quinn, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2021. ISBN 978-1496222022

Related Sites[edit]