George Earnshaw

George "Moose" Earnshaw (February 15, 1900 – December 1, 1976) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He played in parts of nine seasons (1928–1936) with the Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Brooklyn Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals. He was the American League wins leader in 1929 with the A's. For his career, he compiled a 127–93 record in 319 appearances, with a 4.38 ERA and 1,002 strikeouts. Earnshaw played on three American League pennant winners with the Athletics, winning the World Series in 1929 and 1930.

George Livingston Earnshaw was born February 15, 1900, in New York City. He grew to be 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) and 210 pounds. George's nickname was "Moose." He was aggressive, threw hard, and threw strikes. His career covered nine years with a total of 127 victories, and over half of Earnshaw's victories occurred during the A's pennant winning years of 1929-31. He won a total of four World Series games, starting eight games with five being complete games. He struck out 56 batters in 62 innings pitched and had an ERA for the three Series of 1.58. Connie Mack gave more credit to George Earnshaw for the Athletics' 1930 World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals than any other player.

Earnshaw did not reach the majors until he was 28 years old. A graduate of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, he was a pitching star for the minor league Baltimore Orioles when Connie Mack purchased his contract in June 1928. That season, the A's finished second in the American League, 2½ games behind the Yankees. Moose had a record of 7–7 with a 3.85 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 158 innings pitched. It was in 1929 that Earnshaw and Lefty Grove began to dominate big league hitters. For the next three years, they were the only two pitchers on any one team to win 20 or more games. The 1929 season was George's turn to shine. His 24 victories against 8 losses was the most in the majors, and his 149 strikeouts were second only to teammate Grove in the American League and third in the majors. His fastball being wild at times, George's 125 walks were an American League high, but his 3.28 ERA was among the best.

By 1936, George Earnshaw's career came to an end, ironically, playing with the St. Louis Cardinals and old nemesis Pepper Martin. Within a few years, George would become a Commander in the Navy in World War II. On December 1, 1976, Earnshaw died in Little Rock, Arkansas. He currently ranks seventh in Athletics franchise history in winning percentage (.627).

By Dean Hanley

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