web analytics
May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


A Tale Of Two Princes

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

This is a tale of two princes – Hal Newhouser and Derek Jeter.

Newhouser’s nickname was “Prince Hal,” while Jeter is today’s prince of baseball.

Newhouser grew up in Detroit and broke in with the Tigers at the age of 18 in 1939. By the time he was 31, he’d won 200 games while wearing a Detroit uniform.

Newhouser attempted to wear a military uniform and enlisted in the Army Air Corps, but doctors told him he couldn’t fly because of a heart murmur. After being turned down by the Navy Air Corps as well, Newhouser made a pitch for the Army but doctors tagged him 4-F.

Newhouser won 29 games in 1944 and 25 in 1945 and was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player both seasons.

Hank Greenberg returned to the Tigers from military service in July 1945. He homered in his first game back and in the last game of the season. He and Newhouser helped the Tigers edge the Cubs in the 1945 World Series – the Cubs’ last appearance in the fall classic.

Detractors said Newhouser wouldn’t do as well in 1946 because many of the league’s top stars would be back from military service. Newhouser silenced the critics by recording 26 victories, and his 1.94 ERA led the league.

Arm problems led to his release by the Tigers in 1953 and Newhouser found himself out of the game at age 32. But former teammate Hank Greenberg, by then the general manager of the Cleveland Indians, called Newhouser to tell him of the great ballclub he expected to have in 1954.

Greenberg told Newhouser the Indians had pitching, speed, power, and good hitters but could use a solid veteran pitcher. The sore-armed Newhouser was invited to spring training with the hope that he could pitch in short relief.

Newhouser rewarded Greenberg with a 7-2 record and a 2.51ERA in 1954, helping Cleveland to 111 wins and the American League pennant. After pitching only two innings the following year, Newhouser called it a career with lifetime stats of 207 wins, 150 losses, and a 3.06 ERA.

The numbers should have been good enough for the Hall of Fame, but writers thought his numbers were aided by his having pitched against players who wouldn’t have been in the major leagues if not for the fact that many of the game’s stars were in the military during World War II. Newhouser’s abrasive personality didn’t help his cause either.

The decades passed and Newhouser was regularly snubbed by Hall. In the meantime he worked as a vice president of a suburban Detroit bank before turning to scouting for major league teams. Staying in the Detroit area, he served as a scout for the Indians, the Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Houston Astros.

The Tigers allowed high school championship games at Tiger Stadium while the team was on the road. I saw Newhouser often at the ballpark scouting high-schoolers. He was Jimmy Stewart silver-haired handsome and still as slim as he’d been during his pitching days.

While working for Houston, Newhouser followed a high school infielder two hours west of Detroit in Kalamazoo, sending his bosses rave reviews on Derek Jeter.

“No kid is worth a million dollars to sign,” Newhouser said, “but if one kid is, it’s this kid.” Newhouser said Jeter could be signed for $750,000, but Astros owner John McMullen, disregarding Newhouser’s pleas, said that was $50,000 too much. The Astros drafted Phil Nevin instead, who signed for $700,000.

After Newhouser’s rage cooled, he quit the Astros in protest. While the June draft was disappointing for Newhouser, he was finally enshrined in Cooperstown two months later, 37 years after he’d pitched his last ball as a major leaguer.

About the Author: Author, columnist, and lecturer Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and worked in a front office position for a major league team, becoming the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. He can be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Tale Of Two Princes”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
What's happened to NYC's Celebrate Israel Parade?
Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-logo-NEW

When I complain, she tells me it is retail therapy.

West-Coast-logo

Tal Dimenstein has been selected to present her ELI Talk about Appreciation during this year’s conference in Chicago.

How is it possible that some of our people cannot see what I see, the miracle of the existence of the state of Israel?

Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters

She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.

Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.

Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

More Articles from Irwin Cohen
Baseball-logo-NEW

The New York Giants’ Jewish catcher thrilled Giants fans by hitting for the cycle.

Baseball-logo-NEW

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

The big news this spring is that the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals will be leaving their old spring homes north of Port St. Lucie and moving south to a beautiful new complex scheduled to open in two years in West Palm Beach.

A famous face from that first ’52 Topps set was Alvin Dark, who died in his South Carolina home recently at 92.

As the years flew by, one thing remained constant in Sid’s life – the New York Yankees.

During 1939, anti-Semitic groups such as Fritz Kuhn’s German American Bund held rallies in New York and other major cities across the country.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

Many former baseball players who left us with happy memories also passed away in the past year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/baseball-insider/a-tale-of-two-princes/2014/08/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: