Saturday, December 22, 2012

He's Not Malicious, He's Hal-icious 12/22/12

Hey baseball fans!

Today's blog will be about one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, which would explain why he is currently in the Hall of Fame. This pitcher pitched a majority of his career with the Detroit Tigers. His name is Hal Newhouser.

Hal pitched for the Tigers and Indians from 1939-1955. A seven-time All Star and a World Series champion in 1945, Newhouser's career record was 207-150 with a career ERA of 3.06. He also struck out 1,796 batters. I know those stats don't sound Hall of Fame-worthy, but just listen to what he did from 1944-1949: a record of 136-57, an ERA of 2.52, and 1,137 strikeouts! If he played like that his entire career, he might have been known as the best pitcher in baseball history! Anyway, going back to his career, he won two AL MVP Awards back to back in '44 and '45 and placed second in the MVP voting behind Ted Williams in 1946. In case you're wondering, he didn't win the Cy Young Award in those years because that award didn't start until 1956.

After retirement, Newhouser was a scout for the Astros, Orioles, Indians, and Tigers. In 1991, while with the Astros, Hal was credited with the discovery of  Derek Jeter, whom the Astros passed over for Phil Nevin in the 1991 draft. After Jeter went to the Yanks (thank you!), Newhouser quit his job with the Astros, because they ignored his advice about Jeter. A year later, 37 years after his retirement, Hal got into the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee. It was long overdue, but Detroit fans were happy nonetheless.

So, what have we learned from Prince Hal? We have learned that just because you didn't have the best pitching record, doesn't mean that you won't get into the Hall. So kids, don't strive to win 300 games in the bigs. Just strive to do well and have fun.

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