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Hank Wyse

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Henry Washington Wyse (Hooks)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Hank Wyse, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, injured his back when he fell off a welding platform while working in a war plant at Miami, OK during World War II. X-Rays revealed no serious damage to the spinal region and it wouldn’t handicap his baseball career. The right-hander from Arkansas was 4-F during the war because of the injury which forced him to have to wear a corset when he pitched.

The stocky pitcher had signed with the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent before the 1940 season and spent his first season in pro baseball with the Moline Plowboys of the class B Three-I League and the Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League finishing the split season with a 10-9 record and a 4.93 ERA.

After winning 20 and losing but 4 for Tulsa in 1941 with a 2.09 ERA and then doing almost as well with the Oilers again in 1942 with a 20-11 record and a 2.56 ERA, Hank would be called to Wrigley Field early in September. He would make his big league debut on September 7, 1942, finishing out the year with the Cubs with a 2-1 record and a 1.93 ERA.

Wyse would go 9-7 for the Cubs in 1943 and win 16 but lose 15 in 1944, while pitching 257 innings. It had been well over a half century since the Chicago Cubs had won a pennant, and the top winner for the 1945 National League Pennant-winning Cubs team was 22-game-winner Henry Washington Wyse. The Cubs would have a 98-56 record and hold on to beat the second-place St. Louis Cardinals by a three game margin.

The Cubs would hook up against the Detroit Tigers in the 1945 World Series and Hank would start the second game against the Tigers, pitching six innings, giving up five hits and four runs and the Cubs would lose 4-1. Hank would also make brief appearances in games six and seven but in a losing cause as the Tigers would go on to victory in the series, 4 games to 3.

Hank would go 14-12 with a 2.68 ERA in 1946 for the Cubs and fell to 6-9 in 1947. Wyse then dropped into the minors, where he had two good years for the Shreveport Sports in 1948 and '49. On November 17, 1949, he was picked up in the 1949 Rule V Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Wyse was done by then, going 9-14 for the Phillies in 1950 and closed out his major league career in 1951 with a 79-70 record and a 3.52 ERA in eight seasons of big league ball.

Wyse would spend three more years in the minors with the Kansas City Blues of the American Association in 1951, the Beaumont Roughnecks in the Texas League in '52 and finished out with the Tyler East Texans of the Big State League in '53. Wyse had a great minor league run, going 115-69 and a 3.17 ERA while pitching 1,495 innings.

In an interview for Oldtyme Baseball News prior to his death on October 22, 2000, at age 83 in Pryor, OK, Hank said, "I guess I'm considered a war time player, but I think I did pretty well in '46 when all the guys were back."

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL All-Star (1945)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1944 & 1945)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1945)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1944-1946)

[edit] Sources

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