Hal Newhouser was a schoolboy phenom in Detroit in the late 1930’s. He signed with his hometown Tigers in 1938 at the tender age of 18. After spending only one season in the minors he joined the Tigers rotation in 1940. The 1944 season was his break out year, going 29-9 with an ERA of 2.22. He also won the first of his two American League MVP honors. In 1945 he went 25-9 with an ERA of 1.81 and won his second AL MVP. The nest season (1946) was nearly a carbon copy of 1945. He went 26-9 with an ERA of 1.94 and finished 2nd in the MVP race. He had four more good seasons with Detroit before he and the Tigers began to fade. The Tigers released him after the 1953 season. He signed with the Cleveland Indians for 1954 and working out of the bullpen he helped the Indians make it to the 1954 World Series, his third and final Fall Classic. After his playing days were over he scouted for several teams and discovered and signed Milt Pappas and Dean Chance among others. He is said to have discovered Derek Jeter but could not convince the Astros to sign the future Hall of Famer. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Tigers retired his number, 16, in 1997.
August 14, 2014