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Al Gerheauser

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Albert Gerheauser (Lefty)

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Al Gerheauser pitched five seasons in the major leagues, both during and after World War II. Gerheauser began his professional career at age 17/18 with the Rogers Cardinals, going 6-10 with a 5.04 ERA. The next year, they became the Rogers Lions and he went 12-14 with a 3.58 ERA. In 1937, Al moved to the Joplin Miners and had a 10-11, 3.47 pitching line followed by 9-15, 4.25 the next year. At age 20/21, he had a record of 14-5 with a 3.46 ERA for the Wenatchee Chiefs. He returned to his habit of spending two years in a city in 1940-1941 when he was with the Kansas City Blues. The first year, he went 5-5 with a 3.22 ERA and then he followed with a 8-11, 3.76 campaign. In 1942, Al moved over to the Newark Bears and his record was 14-12, 3.24. Through 1942, his record in the minors was 76-83.

He was traded by the New York Yankees during spring training of 1943 to the National League team in Philadelphia, called the Philadelphia Blue Jays at the time. He was their Opening Day pitcher, the last rookie in the majors to be an Opening Day pitcher. He was 26 when he broke in to the majors with the 1943 Blue Jays and was second in the 1943 NL in losses despite a decent ERA+ of 93.

After a couple years with Philadelphia, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he spent two years, and then traded to Brooklyn, where he did not appear in the majors, instead pitching for the 1947 Montreal Royals. Working with the first black catcher in the International League's modern history, Roy Campanella, Al went 15-12 with a 3.54 ERA and led the staff in losses for the second-place club. He was then drafted away from the Dodgers by the St. Louis Browns. He went 4-7 with a 3.28 for the Toledo Mud Hens that year and finished his major league career by going 0-3 with a 7.33 ERA. Although his major league win/loss record was 25-50, his ERA's were mostly not terrible and his career ERA+ was 88. In four of the five years he was in the majors, his teams lost 90+ games, while in the remaining year (1946), he went 2-2.

In 1949, Al went 14-13 with a 4.33 ERA for the San Antonio Missions. The Seattle Rainiers in the PCL drafted him from the St. Louis Browns after the 1949 season and he was 10-10 with a 4.39 ERA for Seattle in 1950. In '51, Gerheauser had a ledger of 16-15, 4.71 for the Oklahoma City Indians and he was 8-8 with a 4.20 ERA for the same club in 1952. In his 19th and last professional season, Al was 0-1 with a 10.80 for Oklahoma City and the Houston Buffaloes and 1-5 with a 4.32 ERA for the Texarkana Bears. His career minor league record was 144-154 and his record as a professional baseball pitcher overall was 169-204.

Sources include Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database

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