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Hooks Wiltse

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George Leroy Wiltse
  • Bats Right, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Hooks Wiltse pitched a dozen seasons in the majors, mostly for the New York Giants under manager John McGraw in the dead-ball era. He won 139 games and appeared the World Series in two different years.

The brother of major leaguer Snake Wiltse and Arthur Wiltse, who also played ball, Wiltse was born in Hamilton, New York, and played local ball before joining the Troy Trojans in the New York State League in 1902. In 1903, he won 21 games for Troy, and the next summer he made his major league debut with the Giants. He was immediately successful at the major league level, going 13-3 in his first year while setting a major league record by winning his first 12 major league decisions, a record that Wiltse still shares with Butch Metzger.

1683fr hooks.jpg

Wiltse hurled a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 4, 1908, striking out six during ten innings of work. He went on to record a career-high 23 wins that year and notched 20 victories the next summer. He went on to pitch in two games during the 1911 World Series. He did not appear on the mound during the 1913 Series, but played in two games as a first baseman after injuries to Fred Snodgrass and Fred Merkle.

Wiltse closed out his major league career playing for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops in the Federal League in 1915.

In his 12-year major league career, Wiltse's lifetime ERA was 2.47, and he never had an ERA above 3.27.

After his major league days, Wiltse continued as a minor league player-manager for another decade, with much of that time spent with the Buffalo Bisons. Wiltse was a part owner of the Reading Pretzels in 1917, and apparently lost much of his money on the venture. He was said to be done with baseball, but returned the next year as manager of Buffalo [1]. He was a New York Yankees coach in 1925. In 1952, he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. Wiltse died at the age of 79 in Long Beach, New York, on Long Island.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 4 (1905, 1906, 1908 & 1909)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 2 (1908 & 1909)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1906 & 1908-1910)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1908)
  • Won a World Series with the New York Giants in 1905 (he did not play in the World Series)
  • Set a ML record by winning the first 12 decisions of his career, a record he shares with reliever Butch Metzger. Wiltse's streak was May 29 to September 15, 1904.

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1915 Jersey City Skeeters International League 16-33 -- -- Replaced by Joe Yeager (36-52) on June 23
1916 Albany Senators / Reading Pretzels New York State League 58-70 6th none
1917 Reading Pretzels New York State League 51-70 5th none
1918 Buffalo Bisons International League 53-68 6th none
1919 Buffalo Bisons International League 81-67 3rd none
1920 Buffalo Bisons International League 96-57 3rd none
1921 Buffalo Bisons International League 99-69 3rd none
1922 Buffalo Bisons International League 95-72 3rd none
1923 Buffalo Bisons International League 83-81 5th none
1924 Buffalo Bisons International League 53-63 -- -- Replaced by Bill Webb (31-20) on August 11
1926 Reading Keystones International League 8th none Replaced Byrd Lynn

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