Rube Walberg

George Elvin Walberg (July 27, 1896 – October 27, 1978) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1923 through 1937 for the New York Giants (1923), Philadelphia Athletics (1923–1933) and Boston Red Sox (1934–1937). Walberg batted and threw left-handed. He was born in Pine City, Minnesota.

In a 15-season career, Walberg posted a 155–141 record with 1085 strikeouts and a 4.16 ERA in 2644 innings, including 15 shutouts and 140 complete games.

A consistent and durable pitcher, Walberg averaged 16 wins for the Philadelphia Athletics of Connie Mack from 1926 to 1932, with career-highs of 20 wins in 1931 and 18 in 1929. He also had a 1–1 mark with a 1.93 ERA for the Athletics in five World Series appearances. A good-hitting pitcher, Walberg collected a .220 batting average with four home runs and 84 runs batted in. When Mack dismantled the Athletics in 1933, he was sent along with Lefty Grove and Max Bishop to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for two players and $150.000. He was a spot starter and reliever with Boston during three seasons and pitched his last game at the age of forty-one.

Walberg surrendered 17 home runs to Babe Ruth, more than did any other pitcher.

Walberg died in Tempe, Arizona at age 82. In 2002, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame.

By Dean Hanley

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