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Lefty Grove

Lefty Grove

Position(s):
P
Born:
March 6, 1900
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
6' 3"
Weight:
190 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-14-1925 with PHA
Allstar Selections:
1930 TC, 1931 MVP, 1931 TC
Hall of Fame:
1947

Intro

Lefty Grove starred for the great Orioles teams of the 1920s, delaying his appearance in the major leagues until he was 25. But he made up for the lost time, winning 300 games and posting an amazing .681 winning percentage. He was the ace of Connie Mack's 1929-1931 American League champion Philadelphia A's, and won 105 games for the Boston Red Sox after he was sold and had arm trouble. An intense competitor who destroyed his share of clubhouses after tough losses, Grove was considered the greatest left-handed pitcher of his time, and one of the best in history.

Unform Number

#10 (1931-1941)

Quotes About

"All things considered, Grove is the best lefthander that ever walked on a pitcher's slab. He surpasses everybody I have ever seen. He has more speed than any other lefthander in the game." — Connie Mack, 1931 "Waddell was a remarkable pitcher. We all know that. But he wasn't dependable. He didn't take care of himself. Grove isn't that way. Lefty's always in condition. He's as dependable as the tides... He's faster than Waddell, too." — Connie Mack, 1931

Replaced By

34-year old rookie left-hander Oscar Judd, in the Red Sox' 1942 rotation.

Best Season

Grove followed up his amazing 1930 season (28-5, 18 relief appearances, and nine saves) with an even better year. He helped the A's to their third straight pennant, no small feat with Gehrig and Ruth's Yankees in the same league. Grove went 31-4, with a league-best 2.06 ERA. The league ERA was 4.51. He also led in K's, WHIP, complete games, and shutouts. He won 16 games in a row. Once again he proved valuable out of the pen, saving five games. He was honored as the league's MVP.

Factoid 1

From July 25, 1930, through September 24, 1931, Lefty Grove was an incredible 46-4. According to researcher Jim Kaplan, this is the best 50-game stretch by any pitcher in baseball history.

Factoid 2

Lefty Grove was the first American League pitcher to lead the league in K's and walks in the same season (1925).

Transition

December 12, 1933: Traded by the Philadelphia Athletics with Max Bishop and Rube Walberg to the Boston Red Sox for Bob Kline, Rabbit Warstler, and $125,000 cash.

Strengths

Location of his fastball.

Weaknesses

His temper.

Feats

On July 25, 1941, Grove won his 300th — and final — game, a 10-6 victory over Cleveland.

First Tilt by the Lake

On July 31, 1932, the Indians moved into their new ballpark, Municipal Stadium. Mel Harder and Grove tangled in a pitcher's duel won by Lefty, 1-0, on Mickey Cochrane's RBI single. More than 80,000 were in attendance.

Streak Stopper

The New York Yankees posted a somewhat unbelievable feat of playing 308 straight games without being shut out, beginning August 2, 1931. Two years and one day later, Lefty Grove stopped the streak, blanking Ruth, Gehrig, Dickey and the gang, 7-0, on August 4, 1933.

Sunday's Best

On August 22, 1926, after three straight rainouts, Connie Mack decided that the time for Sunday baseball in Philadelphia had come. Armed with a court injunction preventing police from interfering, the A's played the White Sox in a light rain that kept the crowd down to 10,000. Lefty Grove started and won the first Sunday game in Philadelphia, 3-2. A court later ruled that Sunday baseball was still illegal, and it wasn't until 1934 that the law was abolished in Philadelphia.

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Tagged:
1947 Hall of Fame, 300 wins, AL MVP 1931, Baseball History, Boston Red Sox, Lefty Grove, Philadelphia Athletics

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