JULY: THE BASEBALL GURU ARTICLE FROM
Its a sunny day, there are 30,000 fans in the stands, the grass has a rich, pungent smell from just having been mowed, the game is about to start, and at the age of fifteen or is it sixteen or maybe a little bit older, you are about to play in your first game in the Major Leagues. Sounds like a dream, but for three men it was a reality.
JOE NUXHALL: LHP: 135-117: 3.90:
In 1944 Bill McKechnie sent in Joe Nuxhall to pitch the ninth inning of a lost game to the Cards. He gave up two hits, five walks, and five runs. With that stint he became the youngest player to have appeared in the Major leagues.
He was 15 years, ten months, and eleven days old.
To this day he is still the youngest to have played in a Major League game. He was then sent down to the Minors and didnt come back until seven years later to the Reds in 1952.
In 1955, Joe won seventeen games which included seven shutouts. That year he pitched in the ALL STAR GAME and gave up no runs in three innings. In 1960 he developed arm problems. Always a good hitting pitcher he stayed in baseball as a pinch hitter and played first base in 1962. He did bounce back in 63 with a 15-8 record and stayed around until 1967. He then became a Cincinnati Reds broadcaster and passed away this year.
CARL SCHEIB: RHP: 45-65: 4.88:
Coming straight from high school, Carl Scheib was the youngest player to appear in an American League game. He was 16 years, 8 months, and 5 days old. The moment occurred in the second game of a doubleheader for the Philadelphia Athletics. He got mauled, was sent down, came back the next year and stayed in the Majors
Like Joe Nuxhall, Carl Sheib was a very good hitting pitcher and was used often as a pinch hitter.
While with the Athletics he pitched in 25 games and then in 1944 he served in the Army. After his return from service he ended up having the best year of his career with a 14-8 record. His whole career was spent with vey poor teams and his record may not be indicative of his true value as a pitcher.
MEL OTT: .304: 1B/OF: 511 HR:
While playing semi-pro ball Mel Ott caught the attention of millionaire Harry Williams who then told John McGraw about this baby phenom. McGraw called Mel up to the Giants and at the age of 16 he became a Major Leaguer. For two years he sat on the bench next to McGraw, occasionally pinch hitting and learned his craft. By 19 he became a regular. At the end of his 22 year career he was acknowledged as a baseball great and later was voted into the Hall of Fame.