- October 25, 1893
- 5' 9"
- 175 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-15-1917 with CHN
Rogers Hornsby said that Aldridge had one of the three best curveballs he had ever seen, a curveball described by the Baseball Magazine as a "hard, sharp-breaking curve" that was one of the best curveballs in all of baseball
He was the model of consistency yet his hardheaded outlook constantly reared its ugly head throughout his career. Despite it all, Vic Alridge was a fine pitcher for the Bucs during their championship seasons and a World Series hero in 1925.
After pitching out of the bullpen for most of his first two seasons in the majors with the Cubs, Aldridge broke into the starting rotation in 1922 after a 3 year hiatus from the majors where he was very steady winning 16 games on two occasions and 15 on the third in 1924 before being dealt to the Pirates in the off-season.
Vic came over to the Bucs with George Grantham and Al Niehaus for Wilbur Cooper, Charlie Grimm and Rabbit Maranville. He would be an instant hit with the club, finishing the 1925 season with a 15-7 mark, 9th in the league in wins, while his .682 winning percentage was good for 4th.
1925 World Series
As good as the 1925 season was for the crafty hurler, it was in the World Series where his star really shined. With Pittsburgh up 3-1 going into the 9th of game 2, Aldridge loaded the bases with no outs and proceeded to get Bobby Veach on a sacrifice fly, Dutch Ruether on a strikeout and Sam Rice on a grounder to second baseman Eddie Moore to end the game and give the team an important 3-2 win.
Aldridge would win game 5, 6-3, before blowing up in the seventh and deciding game as he walked 3, gave up 2 hits and 4 runs in a third of an inning. Vic was uncharacteristically wild trying to pitch off a wet mound during the rain that plagued the contest. Luckily for the team, the Bucs went on to win 9-7, capturing their second World Title.
1926 would not prove as kind to the 33-year old pitcher as he suffered through a 10-13 season before once again winning at least 15 games for the 5th time in 6 years. Vic was not able to repeat his World Series magic in the 1927 fall classic as he lost his only start giving up 6 runs in 7 1/3 innings of work in a 6-2 game 2 loss.
When the season ended, Aldridge expected a big raise from Pirate owner Barney Dreyfuss, who disagreed citing his 4.25 ERA. Dreyfuss dealt the disgruntled pitcher to the Giants for Burleigh Grimes. The distraught hurler was out of shape when he reported the next season and went 4-7 before Giant boss John McGraw put him on waivers where the Dodgers eventually picked him up. Vic refused to report to Brooklyn, which ended his 9-year stay in the show.
Post Baseball career
After he finished his career, Vic went to law school, eventually graduating and was elected to the Indiana State Senate. Aldridge, who was a full time schoolmaster before his time in the majors also returned to that profession afterwards in a part time capacity.
Born in Indian Springs, Indiana, Vic Aldridge attended Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana, and taught school in Miami County. He was married to Cleta B. Wadsworth of Indian Springs.
Aldridge died in Terre Haute at age 79, and is buried in Trinity Springs Cemetery of Trinity Springs, Indiana. He was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame on January 19, 2007, as its 131st member; his granddaughter, Mary Turner, and grandson, Vic Aldridge III, accepted the award on his behalf.
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