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Louis Drucke

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Louis Frank Drucke

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Louis Drucke came to the majors in 1909 right out of Texas Christian University in 1909, and was hailed as a brilliant find on the part of New York Giants manager John McGraw. Drucke was the first of 25 players to come out of Texas Christian University. John McGraw also brought Texas Christian University player Claude Cooper to the New York Giants in 1913.

Drucke had 24 innings in 1909, with an ERA of 2.25 and a record of 2-1. He was 20 years old at the time. While an ERA of 2.25 sounds spectacular, it was the dead-ball era and the Giants as a team had a 2.27 ERA, led by Christy Mathewson whose ERA was 1.14.

The next year, Drucke had a record of 12-10 with an ERA of 2.47. The team's ERA was 2.68, so Drucke was improving relative to the team. He pitched in more games that year than all but two pitchers on the Giants.

His career went rapidly downhill after that. He suffered an arm injury in a subway accident - sad, considering that he was a Texas boy who had come to New York to seek his fortune - and he never pitched well again. (A 1912 newspaper article says he injured his back 2 years earlier in a subway accident). In 1911 he had a 4.04 ERA in 15 games, compared to the team ERA of 2.69. In 1912 he pitched only 1 game, and he was finished.

He was sent to Toronto in the International League around July 3, 1912. He was 8-6 with a .571 win/loss % over 138.1 innings pitched in 26 games. He moved around AA ball for the next few years, playing on the West Coast with Oakland, Venice and San Francisco, before finishing in Minneapolis. In Minneapolis, he went 1-5 over 10 games with a 6.81 ERA, calling it quits after that.

He served in the US Army in World War I, then returned to Texas to live as a cotton farmer. He died of a cerebral thrombosis at his home in Waco in 1955.

He was known as the "second Mathewson" while with the Giants.

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