Leslie William Tietje
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 178 lb.
- High School Sumner (IA) High School
- Debut September 18, 1933
- Final Game September 4, 1938
- Born September 11, 1911 in Sumner, IA USA
- Died October 2, 1996 in Rochester, MN USA
Les Tietje pitched 12 years in professional baseball.
Tietje broke in with the 1931 Waterloo Hawks, going 8-13 with a 5.03 ERA. The next year, he went 8-14 for Waterloo and hit .212 with 4 home runs. He spent most of 1933 with the Dallas Steers, posting a 14-10, 3.51 record, and got called up to the Chicago White Sox, where he went 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA.
Accoring to John P. Carmichael, author of the once-popular Who's Who in the Major Leagues, Tietje was a pitcher headed for stardom with the White Sox but arthritis infected his arm and hampered him for the rest of his career. It is unclear where he bases the claim that Les was headed for stardom given his 30-37 record in the minors.
Tietje went 5-14 with a 4.81 ERA for the White Sox in 1934 and only had 1 hit in 59 AB. He was 7th in the American League in strikeouts per 9 innings but was second to George Earnshaw in home runs surrendered (20) and 9th in losses. On April 12, 1935, Tietje was scheduled to start the first White Sox versus Chicago Cubs game ever held at Wrigley Field against Lon Warneke. That game was rained out however. In 1935, Les had a 9-15 record with a 4.80 ERA; his ERA+ was 108, pretty decent, as he had poor offensive support. He tied for third in the AL in losses and tied for 8th in wild pitches.
Les allowed 7 runs in 2 1/3 innings for the White Sox in 1936 and was traded to the St. Louis Browns for Sugar Cain. He was 3-5 with a 6.62 ERA for the Browns. He was 1-2 with a 4.20 ERA for the Browns in 1937 but spent most of the year with the San Antonio Missions, where he was 14-7 with a 2.67 ERA in his best year in baseball. He made the Texas League's top 5 in ERA.
Tietje spent all of the next season, 1938, with the Browns and got hammered. He was 2-5 with a 7.55 ERA (66 ERA+). Overall, he had gone 22-41 in the majors with a 5.11 ERA and a decent 94 ERA+.
Back in San Antonio in 1939, Les was 14-8 with a 3.24 ERA, followed by a 5-7, 4.12 year with the Missions. Back in Waterloo in 1941, he had a 9-8, 4.11 mark and dropped all four of his decisions in his final season of 1942.
Overall, he had gone 67-64 in the minors and 89-105 in pro baseball. Statistically, he is most similar to Mike Morrison, according to the Similarity Scores (through October, 2008).
Following his death, he was interred at Maple Grove Cemetery in Kasson, MN.
Sources include Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database
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