Henry Eugene "Gene" Bearden (September 5, 1920 – March 18, 2004) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns, and Chicago White Sox. Bearden was a knuckleball pitcher, although he also threw a fastball, a slider, a curveball, and an occasional screwball.
Bearden was born on September 5, 1920 in Lexa, Arkansas. Growing up, he learned to play baseball on Tennessee sandlots; Lou Gehrig was his baseball idol. His rookie season in 1948 was rated in 2008 as the top overall rookie season of any athlete of a Cleveland professional sports franchise in The Great Book of Cleveland Sports Lists. Bearden was the winning pitcher of the 1948 American League tie-breaker game against the Boston Red Sox that brought the Indians to the World Series which they won in six games.
Bearden died in Alexander City, Alabama, at 83 years of age.
By Dean Hanley
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