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Jake Wade

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Jacob Fields Wade (Whistlin' Jake)

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Jake Wade was a long-time professional pitcher, playing in 16 seasons. His younger brother, Ben Wade, pitched in the majors in the 1950s. Another brother, Charlie Wade, played outfield in the minors from 1926 to 1934.

Wade was a real worker in the Pacific Coast League with record of 17-15 in 40 games and 263 IP. Called up to the Detroit Tigers in 1936, he won 4 games against 5 losses. He later moved on to pitch with the Montreal Royals of the International League (IL) where he went 6-8.

Wade joined the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association (AA) in 1940, his sixth season of pro ball at the age of 27. There he squeezed out a 2-2 record with a 7.15 ERA in 22 games and 34 innings under manager James Taylor. The Hens finished in seventh place with a record of 59-90. He returned for his second and final AA season as an Indianapolis Indian in 1941. He won no games while losing one with a 9.00 ERA. Later that year he was successful in the Coastal Plain League going 12-9 with a sparkling ERA of 2.44 as player/manager for the New Bern Bears and Goldsboro Goldbugs.

Wade just kept plugging. He entered the Navy in February 1945 and was discharged in January 1946. After serving in the military in 1945, he entered a rather glowing twilight in his career. His best season came with the Jersey City Giants of the IL in 1947 when he won 17 games while losing only 5 with a 2.51 ERA for Bruno Betzel’s first-place club. His downfall was his lack of control; he walked 108 while striking out only 78 in 197 innings. Despite this, he led the Giants in games with 32, games started with 26, complete game with 18 and shutouts with 4. He was instrumental in the Giants winning 94 games against 60 losses. He ended his career on a winning note by winning 7 against 6 losses with the Buffalo Bisons of the IL in 1950 at the age of 38, posting an ERA of 4.96.

Of his 16 seasons of pro ball, Wade played eight of those in the American League with Detroit, Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington while compiling a 27-40 record with a 5.00 ERA. After his baseball career ended, he worked as an electronics repair technician in North Carolina. He passed away on February 1, 2006 at the age of 93 in Wildwood, NC and was buried at Bayview Cemetery in Morehead City, NC.

Wade's main teammates included Charlie Gehringer (339), Luke Appling (280), Hank Greenberg (274) and Tommy Bridges (223).

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