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From BR Bullpen
Elden Le Roy Auker
(Submarine or Big Six)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 194 lb.
- School Kansas State University
- Debut August 10, 1933
- Final Game September 20, 1942
- Born September 21, 1910 in Norcatur, KS USA
- Died August 4, 2006 in Vero Beach, FL
 Biographical Information
Elden Auker was a major league pitcher from 1933 to 1942. After a football injury while playing at Kansas State University, Auker developed his signature sidearm pitching motion. He used the whiplike motion to strike out Babe Ruth when he was a rookie in 1933. Yet he never was much of a strikeout pitcher, obtaining a career-high of 86 in 1934.
Auker turned in a solid career for three clubs. He had double digits in wins in eight of his ten seasons. In 1935, he led the league in winning percentage. Auker also pitched in both the 1934 and 1935 World Series for the Detroit Tigers. he started Game 4 of the 1934 Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and pitched a complete game victory, 10-4. He was then selected to start the decisive Game 7, going against Dizzy Dean, but things did not go so well. He was roughed up, left with one out in the 3rd, and the Cards won handily, 11-0. In the 1935 Fall Classic, against the Chicago Cubs, he had a no-decision in game 3, battling Bill Lee, in a game the Tigers won in 11 innings. It was his only game of the Series, as the Tigers went on to claim the first Championship in team history.
He quit baseball to run his engineering firm, which produced abrasives critical to the War effort. Later in his life, he was prominently featured in the HBO documentary When It Was a Game.
His memoirs are called "Sleeper Cars and Flannel Uniforms." Auker says that after he retired, he would play golf in Florida with Babe Ruth and some of the other retired players.
 Notable Achievements
- AL Winning Percentage Leader (1935)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 4 (1934, 1935, 1937 & 1940)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1934, 1936, 1937 & 1940-1942)
- Won a World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1935
 Further Reading
- Elden Auker (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget," Baseball Digest, March 1994, pp. 89-90.
- Norman L. Macht: "Sidearm pitcher - Elden Auker: He Remembers How It Was in the 1930s; He played in an era when starters were expected to go the distance," Baseball Digest, February 1993, pp. 62-66.
- Alan Tays: "Turn Back the Clock: Former Pitcher Elden Auker Fondly Recalls His Days in the Majors," Baseball Digest, May 2003, pp. 54-56.