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Hal Newhouser

Hal Newhouser

Position(s):
P
Nicknames:
Prince Hal
Born:
May 20, 1921
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
6' 2"
Weight:
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-29-1939 with DET
Allstar Selections:
1944 MVP, 1944 TSN, 1945 ML, 1945 MVP, 1945 TC, 1945 TSN
Hall of Fame:
1992

Intro

One of the greatest pitchers in Tiger history, Hal Newhouser is the only hurler to win back-to-back MVP Awards. The lefty won games five and seven of the 1945 World Series for Detroit. He was the best pitcher not to miss time during World War II, and he continued his mastery after the players returned from overseas, narrowly missing a third straight MVP to Ted Williams in 1946. The popular hurler, known as "Prince Hal" to Detroit faithful, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992.

 

Unform Number

#16 (1939-1955)

Replaced By

His last job as a starting pitcher was 1952-1953, with the Tigers. He gradually was replaced by young southpaw Billy Hoeft.

Best Season

Newhouser had a 34-52 record to show for his first five seasons before exploding to win 29 games in 1944, 25 in 1945 and 26 in 1946. For those three seasons he was 80-27, improving his career mark to 114-79. In his 17-year career, Newhouser had ten losing or break-even seasons (he was 66-85 in those ten years), and enjoyed seven winning campaigns, in which he was 141-65 (a .684 winning percentage). In 1945 his 25 wins, 1.81 ERA and 212 strikeouts led the American League. For his career, he won two ERA titles, led the league in wins four times, strikeouts twice, complete games twice, and shutouts once (eight in 1945). In the '45 World Series against the Cubs he was 2-1 with a 6.10 ERA and 22 K's in 20 2/3 innings. He was rocked for seven earned runs in less than three innings in the opener, but rebounded to pitch complete game wins in Game Five and Seven, helping Detroit to their second World Series title.

Facts

In 1947, the Yankees offered Joe DiMaggio to the Tigers in a trade for Hal Newhouser, and Detroit refused.

Hal Newhouser was 80-27 over a three-year stretch (1944-1946).

 

 

Top Ten Finishes


Wins - 7 Times (Led leage in 1944,1945, 1946 & 1948)
ERA - 7 Times (Led league in 1945 & 1946)
Strikeouts - 9 Times (Led league in 1944 & 1945)
Winning % - 4 Times
Games - 6 Times
Starts – 6 Times (Led league in 1945)
Innings - 6 Times (Led league in 1945)
Complete Games - 7 Times (Led league in 1945 & 1947)
Shutouts- 6 Times (Led league in 1945)
Saves – Twice

 

 

Transition

Newhouser was released by the Tigers in early 1954, and latched on with the Indians. He pitched very well for Cleveland in 1954, going 7-2 with a 2.51 ERA, mostly out of the bullpen.

 

Lucrative Offers

Early in 1946, after Newhouser won his second straight MVP Award, he was offered $500,000 to jump to the Mexican League, started by maverick millionaire Jorge Pasquel. According to Newhouser, Pasquel agreed to place $300,000 in Newhouser's bank account immediately, and pay the left-hander $200,000 over three seasons. Hewhouser wrestled with the offer, talked with manager Steve O'Neill and Tiger owner Walter Briggs about it, but decided to stay in Detroit. Briggs gave him an estimated $10,000 bonus and a fat new contract following the '46 campaign. The Mexican League, which successfully attracted a few major leaguers south of the border, proved to be a bust. Though the actaul figure of his 1947 contract was never released, it was high enough to satisfy Newhouser. "All I can say is that it was thousands more [than the $60,000 newspapers were reporting). I've always felt I owe Mr. Briggs a lot of victories to repay him," Newhouser told columnist Lyall Smith in 1951. In 1951, Newhouser seriously considered quitting baseball to take a job with an undisclosed Detroit firm for a salary of $30,000 and benefits. Once again, he determined to stay in baseball. Newhouser finally retired in 1955.

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Tagged:
Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Hal Newhouser, Hall of Fame, Houston Astros, MVP, WWII

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