Hall of Fame: Herb Pennock (1948)

His appearance was even nondescript.

Career stats:
240-162__247 CG__35 SHO__1227 K__916 BB__3.60 ERA__106 ERA+__1.348 WHIP

Born in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania on February 10, 1894, Herbert Jeffris Pennock was born in a town known for horsemen and hunting. Pennock, himself, was an expert horseman and hound master, and he would receive his nickname, the Squire (or Knight) of Kennett Square, because of this ability.

Out of high school, Pennock went straight into professional baseball, but he started as an uninspiring first baseman, but Philadelphia Athletics catcher Earle Mack mentioned to Connie Mack that Pennock had some talent on the mound. The elder Mack agreed and put Pennock on the mound as an 18-year old in 1912. However, Pennock wasn’t terribly impressive as a pitcher, and his overall statistics in his career describe Pennock as unremarkable but was a successful pitcher nonetheless. By 1915, Mack waived Pennock.

The Red Sox would pick up Pennock, but after two mediocre seasons and a year spent fighting in WWI, Pennock needed to show something to stick in the majors. Well, he responded with his best season yet, 16-8 with a 2.71 ERA, in 1919. For the next few seasons, Pennock went back to his normal unspectacular pitching, but he was dependable, pitching over 200 innings every time and over 230 most times. The Yankees acquired him after the 1922 season, and Pennock would rip off his Hall of Fame stretch. From 1923 to 1928, Pennock was outstanding for the New York Yankees, who acquired him for $50,000 and three nondescript players. Always over 200 innings and even over 260 a few times, Pennock would post his best ERA’s while posting his two 20-win seasons with two other 19-win seasons and a 17-win season.

Having been a durable pitcher his entire career, 1929 and after were not a true representation of his pitching skill. He would never pitch more than 190 innings again, and he mostly sat around the 150 mark. His ERA’s also skyrocketed. He had sat around the upper 2’s and low 3’s, but he never was below 4 after 1929. After 1934, he was done. Unable to pitch plenty of innings, Pennock was no longer a viable option, but what could one expect from a man who had pitched 16 seasons by age 35 (1929)?

He would become a coach after his playing career, but he found his niche as a farm director and became Philadelphia’s GM in 1944. Just weeks after suffering a fatal cerebral hemorrhage, Pennock was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1948 with 94 of the 121 (77.7%) of the votes.

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