Paul Howard Trout
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2½", Weight 195 lb.
- Debut April 25, 1939
- Final Game September 11, 1957
- Born June 29, 1915 in Sandcut, IN USA
- Died February 28, 1972 in Harvey, IL USA
The father of Steve Trout, Dizzy Trout played 15 years in the American League, winning 170 games. He spent the majority of his playing days with the Detroit Tigers, with whom he went to two World Series, and he was one of the top pitchers in baseball during World War II.
Nicknamed "Dizzy" because of his irreverent manner, Trout was born in Sandcut, Indiana and began his career with minor league teams in his home state (the Terre Haute Tots and the Indianapolis Indians in 1935 and 1936). Although a pitcher with a winning record, he also hit over .270 each season. After playing for the Toledo Mud Hens in 1937, he earned a trip to Spring Training with the Tigers in 1938 but ended up splitting the season between the Mud Hens and the Beaumont Exporters, winning 23 games between the two clubs.
As a 24-year-old rookie in 1939, Trout became a member of the Tigers' starting rotation, going 9-10. The following season, 1940 he spent most of his time in the bullpen but started Game 4 of the 1940 World Series, taking a loss against the Cincinnati Reds. Within a few seasons, he was one of the aces of the team's staff along with Hal Newhouser, and in 1943, he went 20-12 with five shutouts while leading the American League in victories. The next summer, 144, he went 27-14 with a league-best 2.12 ERA and also had his finest year at the plate, hitting .271 with 5 home runs.
In 1945, Trout's win total dropped to 18, but he was a workhorse for the Tigers down the stretch, pitching in six games during a nine-day stretch from September 8th to September 16th. He appeared in two games of the 1945 World Series, recording a five-hit complete game win in Game 4 as the Tigers went on to defeat the Chicago Cubs. He continued to be effective after the war ended, finishing in the top ten in the AL in ERA in 1946, 1948 and 1950.
In 1952, after nearly fourteen years with the Tigers, Trout was traded to the Boston Red Sox along with George Kell and others. He went 9-8 for the Red Sox and then essentially retired. He was a Tigers broadcaster from 1953 to 1955 and ran for Wayne County sheriff in 1956 but lost. The next summer, 1957, after an impressive performance in an old-timer's game, he made a brief comeback. He posted an ERA of 0.84 in 3 outings for the Vancouver Mounties of the Pacific Coast League and also appeared in a pair of September games for the Baltimore Orioles. His son, Steve, who would follow in his footsteps as a big league pitcher, was also born that summer. After his playing days, Trout was a pitching instructor for the Chicago White Sox and later was director of their speakers' bureau. He died of cancer in 1972 and was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
Although Trout's win-loss record was not much over .500 during his career, his ERA+ was an excellent 124, good for (as of the end of 2009) # 78 of all time.
- 1938 MVP Texas League Beaumont Exporters
- 2-time AL All-Star (1944 & 1947)
- AL ERA Leader (1944)
- AL Wins Leader (1943)
- AL Innings Pitched Leader (1944)
- AL Complete Games Leader (1944)
- 2-time AL Shutouts Leader (1943 & 1944)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 4 (1943-1946)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 2 (1943 & 1944)
- 25 Wins Seasons: 1 (1944)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1942-1946)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1944)
- Won a World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1945
- Dizzy Trout (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, June 1971, pp. 36-38.