Gowell Claset

Gowell Claset

This article was written by Kurt Blumenau

Gowell Claset (San Francisco Bulletin, August 12, 1926: 17)Gowell Claset’s greatest historical significance may be as proof that a pitcher’s won-lost record is not an accurate measure of his effectiveness.

In 11⅓ innings with the 1933 Philadelphia Athletics, the lefthander surrendered 23 hits and 11 walks. Opposing batters hit for a .426 clip against him, and his ERA was 9.53. And yet, Claset earned wins in two of his eight appearances, passing into baseball eternity with an immaculate 2-0 record.

Of course, his major-league career made up only a small part of his life story. The Claset saga also included a 23-win season at the highest level of the minor leagues; a comical footrace against one manager; service as an emergency medical escort for another; and a quixotic campaign for the mayoralty of Elmira, New York. (Claset the politician was not gifted with the same winning good fortune as Claset the pitcher.)

Gowell Sylvester Claset was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 26, 1907, the first major-leaguer to be born in the breakfast-cereal capital.1 His distinctive first name was his mother’s maiden name. The former Rose Gowell had married Charles Claset almost six years earlier.2 The 1910 US Census found Charles working in the trucking business. A decade later, he was listed as a manager for an oil company. In both cases, Gowell was listed as the couple’s only child.3

As he grew into adulthood, Claset cut a formidable figure. Modern sources list his playing height at 6-foot-3 and his weight at 210 pounds, though articles during his career placed his weight as high as 240.4 His size captivated sportswriters, who seemed incapable of writing about him without mentioning how big he was. At various points he was described as “the hugest of all huge rookies,” “massive,” “gigantic,” “behemoth,” “ponderous,” “man-mountain,” and, in one memorable outburst, “big, fat, easy-going Gowell Claset.”5 (The accusation that he “ate himself out of baseball” recurred a few times over the years. Decades later, it’s difficult to assess whether that was true, or whether it was simply an easy conclusion to draw about a heavyset athlete.6)

Claset established himself as a ballplayer at Battle Creek High School and in a local industrial league, where he pitched for or against such commercial concerns as Kellogg’s, Postum, and the Grand Trunk Railroad.7 In June 1925 he pitched a seven-inning no-hitter in the industrial league; two months later he threw a one-hitter against a different team.8 He also earned a reputation for wildness. The local paper joked that batters who faced him in these early days “formed the habit of ducking as soon as the ball left his hand,” while first basemen stayed alert because “one of his pitches was just as likely to go in the general direction of first base as toward the plate.”9

In the mid-1920s, the teenager – who never attended college – made tentative steps toward a professional career.10 Described as a raw article in need of coaching, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in early 1925.11 The 17-year-old was assigned to the Syracuse Stars of the Double-A International League,12 but apparently did not make the grade, as he was back in Battle Creek by May.13 However, in a July exhibition game, Claset was credited with pitching well for the Battle Creek all-stars against the Chicago White Sox.14

The following year brought tryouts with teams in Rock Island, Illinois, and Waterloo, Iowa, in the Class D Mississippi Valley League, as well as the Mission Bells of the Double-A Pacific Coast League.15 After his only game with the Mission team, a San Francisco paper called him “as green as last year’s Xmas jewelry.”16 Worse was to come in 1927, when Claset missed part of the season following an auto accident and apparently did not pitch in the pros.17

He finally harnessed his potential with the Wheeling, West Virginia, team of the Class C Middle Atlantic League in 1928, going 14-11 with a 3.71 ERA in 31 games.18 He is listed as walking 70 batters in 211 innings, suggesting that he’d improved his control. In what must have been a gratifying outing, Claset limited the Detroit Tigers to four hits in a July exhibition game. The Tigers had reportedly scouted him but passed him up as too wild.19

Despite a difficult 9-15 season with Williamsport of the Class B New York-Pennsylvania League in 1929, Claset reached the top rung of the minors the following season with Montreal of the International League. He established himself as a big-league prospect by winning 56 games for the Royals over three seasons, capped by a 23-13 performance in 47 games in 1932.20 He was the IL’s workhorse that season, pitching the most innings, facing the most batters, and leading the loop in walks and wild pitches.21

Claset was said to have the interest of the New York Yankees as early as 1931, when he pitched complete-game wins in both ends of a doubleheader and made an unofficial IL all-star team.22 By the following summer, the Chicago Cubs, Boston Braves, and New York Giants were also reportedly on his trail.23 But Connie Mack of the A’s struck first. In July 1932, he traded Oscar Roettger to Montreal for Claset, with the understanding that Claset would stay in the IL the rest of the season and report to the A’s the following spring.24 A story at the time said the pitcher had a “sizzling fast ball and good curve” but a “tendency for wildness.”25  In 1931-32, Claset issued roughly one walk for every two innings pitched.


The Sporting News made note of the prospect’s unusual name, quipping, “It is hard to tell whether he is a Peruvian or a Finn.”26 Claset was neither; his paternal lineage was German, while his mother traced part of her ancestry to Nova Scotia.27 The later days of the 1932 season also produced a humorous photo that reached The Sporting News. Claset – listed as 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds – towered over Montreal manager Doc Gautreau, listed at 5-foot-4 and 138.28 Gautreau and Claset competed in a 50-yard dash as part of a late-season field day, with the manager winning by several steps.29

In January 1933, The Sporting News labeled Claset “probably … the best prospect” among the Athletics’ young pitchers.30 News stories from the 1933 preseason made note of Claset’s sidewinding delivery, his deceptive nimbleness in the field, his strength-building offseason work on a farm, and his determination to mix up his pitches and not rely on his fastball.31 Some combination of these factors made him a spring-training success, particularly in late March and early April.32 He earned a spot on the team and pitched the final inning of the A’s Opening Day loss against the Washington Senators on April 12, surrendering three hits, one walk, and two earned runs. He pitched again on April 22 and then didn’t play for a month, suffering from a shoulder injury sustained while hitting practice flies on a cold, drizzly day.33

Claset picked up his first big-league win on May 24, pitching 1⅓ shutout innings against the St. Louis Browns in relief of Sugar Cain. The game was halted after six innings by a violent lightning storm that snapped Shibe Park’s upper-deck right-field foul pole “as if it were match wood.”34 Lefty Grove pitched the final inning to earn a save, awarded retroactively.  Claset’s other win came in the second game of a May 30 doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Brought in to pitch the 11th inning with an 8-6 lead, Claset surrendered the game-tying runs; the potential winning run was thrown out at the plate. The A’s scored three runs in the top of the 12th to take an 11-8 lead. Despite giving up a leadoff triple and an infield single in the bottom half, Claset held the Red Sox off the scoreboard to nail down the win.

His second-to-last major-league appearance, on June 3, touched off a controversy in Philadelphia. Claset was again ineffective in relief, this time against the New York Yankees.  He was in the process of coughing up an 11-4 lead in the fifth inning when Mack sought to call in George Earnshaw to replace him. Earnshaw was in the bullpen, but was sleeping off a late night and Mack was forced instead to summon Jim Peterson, the eventual losing pitcher in a 17-11 slugfest. Mack suspended Earnshaw for 10 days without pay and fined him $500, reportedly the strictest punishment he had ever inflicted on a player.35 Earnshaw and Claset were said to be drinking companions – “party pals,” in the words of one writer – and one wonders whether Claset was also in less than peak condition that day.36 Mack reportedly went so far as to warn Claset and other teammates not to go out on the town with Earnshaw.37

Given his only big-league start against Washington on June 7, Claset was yanked one batter into the second inning, charged with six earned runs on five hits and two walks. He avoided the loss when the A’s rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning.38 Mack had seen enough. He immediately banished Claset to Baltimore of the International League, fed up with his carousing as well as his struggles on the mound. “Claset has not minded his training P’s and Q’s strictly, according to rumors and such action on the part of any Mackman does not meet with Connie’s approval. The Earnshaw suspension is a sample of Connie’s disposition when a player breaks training rules,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.39

Claset remained with Baltimore for the rest of the season and pitched poorly, compiling a 7-10 record and 5.96 ERA in 28 games. In this and future seasons, he may have been slowed by nagging injuries. One news report said he was plagued by a “wrenched back” suffered in Philadelphia. Some years later, Claset also told a reporter he’d thrown too hard while trying to impress Mack and ended up with arm pain that bothered him for years.40 As early as July 6, the Baltimore Evening Sun described him as a “failure” and urged the Orioles to send him back to Philadelphia.41 One positive development from this difficult season took place on July 11. While the Orioles were playing in Montreal, Claset married Drusie LeQuesne, a native of Quebec.42 They remained married for 42 years.

In November 1933 Mack sent Claset and Tony Freitas to St. Paul of the American Association for Rip Radcliff. One year removed from being a hotly touted major-league prospect, Claset suffered through an annus horribilis with St. Paul in 1934. He went 7-11 with a 6.38 ERA, yielding 236 hits in 165 innings.43 The Minneapolis Star tartly described him as “worthless.” Shortly after that assessment appeared, he lasted two-thirds of an inning in one of his starts, walking three batters, hitting another, and throwing two wild pitches.44

Claset landed with Elmira in the New York-Pennsylvania League in 1935, where he was pressed into an unexpected, and probably unsettling, emergency task. Elmira manager Emmet McCann suffered what reporters called “a complete mental collapse” in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in July, and was taken by ambulance to his home in Philadelphia. Claset and teammate Lew Krausse made the trip with him. “Because of McCann’s condition, attending physicians recommended that two sturdy men accompany the driver of the ambulance,” the Reading (Pennsylvania) Times reported.45

Whether related or not, Claset suffered something of a professional breakdown about two weeks later. In a start against Scranton, he came close to hitting five straight batters in the first inning. Similar to his poor outing in St. Paul the previous season, he walked three batters and hit one before being removed from the game.46 The team suspended Claset for 10 days and fined him $50 for “failure to keep in condition.” Being “out of condition” was sometimes used as a euphemism for drunkenness, and one news item noted that the Pioneers had “plastered” Claset with a fine. While this might have been an innocent choice of words, it’s difficult not to read it as a double entendre.47 “Claset’s punishment … will serve as a warning to two or three of the other boys, who, it is known, have forgotten the best interests of the Elmira Community Baseball Corporation,” the story continued.48

That said, the 1935 season went down in Elmira baseball history for a different series of events. The Pioneers compiled a dreadful 20-59 record in the first half, then rebounded in the second half and remained in pennant contention until a loss on the final day. Claset played a dramatic role in the final game against Hazleton. Entering with two on and one out in the fifth inning and Elmira trailing, 4-2, he induced a double-play grounder with his first pitch, then allowed only one hit and no runs over the next four innings. The Pioneers were unable to close the deficit and lost. The Elmira Star-Gazette suggested that the Pioneers would have won had Claset been tapped to start.49

Claset worked in a foundry in the offseason to get into better shape. Even so, he posted only a 9-14 record with Elmira in 1936.50 By this time he relied heavily on a sweeping curveball.51 He was involved in an unusual on-field incident in Wilkes-Barre in June when he stepped on a live wire while backing up home plate. Sparks flew and lights dimmed, but the pitcher was not injured.52

At season’s end, Claset started the first game of the best-of-seven league playoffs for Elmira against the Scranton Miners. He carried a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning, when a series of Scranton bunts and a throwing error by Claset handed the Miners the tying run. Claset was taken out and Scranton went on to a 4-3 win.53 He also pitched the final inning of the fourth game, surrendering two runs in an 8-0 Scranton victory.54 At age 28, it was his last professional appearance.

Claset retired from pro baseball in 1937, though he continued to play and manage in semipro and independent ball for a few years.55 Bowling and fishing became his preferred hobbies. He went to work as a pattern maker at General Electric’s foundry in Elmira and became president of Local 310 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers.56

His union activity seems to have led directly to his political activity. In the summer and fall of 1942, Claset declared his candidacy for mayor of Elmira on behalf of the American Labor Party. Third-party candidates have generally faced an uphill battle in modern American politics, and Claset was no exception. Incumbent Republican Mayor Emory Strachen did not make a single speech or statement throughout the campaign but still won going away, drawing 9,097 votes compared to 5,957 for Democratic candidate H. Paul Shay and 422 for Claset.57

Claset’s son John, born in 1934, carried the family’s baseball connection into a second generation. A youth standout in Elmira and a lefty like his father, John Claset pitched five minor-league seasons between 1953 and 1957. Young Claset went 19-11 and struck out 243 batters for the 1954 Fitzgerald (Georgia) Redlegs, champions of the Class D Georgia-Florida League.58 He struggled on the mound in subsequent years, though, and was out of pro baseball at age 23.

Gowell Claset moved to Florida in 1973.59 Drusie died two years later, and Claset subsequently married the former Vera Olson.60 He died on March 8, 1981, in St. Petersburg, Florida, at age 73, of causes that were not publicly disclosed. He was survived by his wife, his son, and two grandchildren.61



This story was reviewed by Rory Costello and Rick Zucker and checked for accuracy by SABR’s fact-checking team.


Sources and photo credit

In addition to the sources credited in the Notes, the author consulted Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org for background information on players, teams, and seasons. The author thanks the Giamatti Research Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for its assistance.

Photo from the San Francisco Bulletin, August 12, 1926: 17.



1 As of September 2023, when this story was written, only four big-league players listed Battle Creek as their birthplace. The others are Bob Rush (born 1925), Bill Stein (1947) and Dann Howitt (1964). Umpires Mike Vanvleet (1970) and Scott Barry (1976) were also Battle Creek natives.

2 Calhoun County, Michigan, marriage record for Charles Claset and Roseltha Gowell, dated December 23, 1902. Accessed via Familysearch.org in September 2023.

3 1910 and 1920 US Census records for Charles, Rose, and Gowell Claset, accessed via Familysearch.org in September 2023.

4 Baseball-Reference says 6-foot-3; Retrosheet adds an extra half-inch to this. One citation for 240 pounds is “Lefty Claset with Athletics at Royals’ Camp for Game,” Montreal Gazette, March 17, 1933: 21. In spring training of 1933, Claset said his weight of 220 pounds was 20 pounds lighter than his starting weight the previous season.

5 “Big, fat, easy-going Gowell Claset:” Jack Burgess, “Ostermueller Holds Baltimore Orioles to Two Hits,” Rochester (New York) Times-Union, July 14, 1933: 18. Other descriptions taken from articles accessed during research for this biography.

6 Two examples, almost exactly 30 years apart: Gordon Williams, “In the Realm of Sports,” Reading (Pennsylvania) Times, August 14, 1935: 12; Lloyd McGowan, “Baseball Royals Had Top ‘Road’ Men,” Montreal Star, August 7, 1965: 14.

7 “Local Ballplayers to Join Three-I Club,” Battle Creek (Michigan) Enquirer and Evening News, March 29, 1927: 18; “Illinois Giants Maul Kelloggs,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, June 4, 1927: 8; “Rich Steel Defeats Grand Trunk,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, June 7, 1925: 10; “Rush and Grimm Oppose in Opening Kellogg-Postum Game,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, July 3, 1925: 11.

8 “Another No-Hit Game is Added,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, June 26, 1925: 19; “Erronians Badly Beaten,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, August 5, 1925: 15.

9  “Claset, Once Wildest Southpaw in City, Working His 220 Pounds for Connie Mack,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, March 12, 1933: 10.

10 Claset’s 1940 US Census listing, accessed via Familysearch.org in September 2023, says that his education ended after four years of high school.

11 “Gowell Claset Signed by St. Louis Cardinals,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, February 4, 1925: 6.

12 Charles J. Foreman, “International League Newcomers,” Buffalo News, April 20, 1925: 13.

13 Claset’s Sporting News contract card lists him as playing in Syracuse in 1925. (He actually has two Sporting News contract cards – one as Gowell Claset, the other as “Gowell Glaset” – and both list a stop in Syracuse in 1925.) Baseball-Reference does not include any statistics for him from that season, and a search of several online newspaper databases in September 2023 found no specific mention of Claset pitching for Syracuse. He is mentioned as being available to pitch in Battle Creek in “Kellogg Park Scene of Game,” Battle Creek Examiner and Evening News, May 8, 1925: 16.

14 “Pitching is Exceptional,” Battle Creek Enquirer, July 23, 1925: 7.

15 As of September 2023, Baseball-Reference had no statistics for Claset’s stints in Rock Island and Waterloo, but newspaper stories indicate that he appeared in regular-season games for both teams. Examples: “Islanders Divide Tight Games with Hawks,” Rock Island (Illinois) Argus, May 17, 1926: 17; “Bees Pound Four Hawk Hurlers to Win Wild Battle,” Waterloo (Iowa) Evening Courier, May 26, 1926: 18. Claset is known to have appeared in one game for the Mission Bells; a story about it is cited in the next endnote.

16 Abe Kemp, “Stars Capture Third Straight from Missions,” San Francisco Examiner, August 13, 1926: Sports: 1.

17 Almost three decades later, Claset cited the accident to explain his absence from pro baseball in 1927 in Fran Walosin, “Elmiran Holds Perfect Record in Big Leagues,” Elmira (New York) Advertiser, June 8, 1955: 12. He did not miss the entire season; news stories confirm that he pitched semipro games in Battle Creek at least until early June. One example: “Illinois Giants Maul Kelloggs,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, June 4, 1927: 8.

18 At the time, Class C was the fourth-lowest of five segregated White-only minor league levels, above only Class D.

19 “Claset Holds Tigers to Four Hits, 1 to 1 Tie,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, July 24, 1928: 2.

20 Claset’s 23 wins placed him second among IL pitchers, trailing only Don Brennan of Newark, who went 26-8.

21 “Brennan First in Effectiveness as Well as Leading Int Winner,” The Sporting News, February 2, 1933: 6.

22 D.A.L. MacDonald, “Special Meeting of Baseball Club Directors Today,” Montreal Gazette, August 27, 1931: 14; D.A.L. MacDonald, “Claset Pitches Double Victory Over Keystones,” Montreal Gazette, July 23, 1931: 16; “Claset Is Only Royal to Make All-Star Team,” Montreal Gazette, September 26, 1931: 17.

23 D.A.L. MacDonald, “A’s Sell Roettger to Local Club for Option on Claset,” Montreal Gazette, July 2, 1932: 12; “Claset Shift a Surprise,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 19, 1932: 10.

24 Baseball-Reference describes this as a player-to-be-named-later deal, but news accounts from July 1932 make clear that Claset was immediately identified as the player going to Philadelphia. One example: James C. Isaminger, “Mackian Pickups,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 1932: 12.

25 “Behind the Plate,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, September 4, 1932: 7.

26 James C. Isaminger, “Under the Spotlight,” The Sporting News, October 27, 1932: 5.

27 1920 US Census listing.

28 “Manager Gaudreau and Pitcher Claset,” The Sporting News, September 8, 1932: 3.

29 D.A.L. MacDonald, “Royals Win Seven in Row, Beating Rochester Twice,” Montreal Gazette, September 12, 1932: 14.

30 Dick Farrington, “Numerous Youngsters Will Strive for Big League Berths,” The Sporting News, January 12, 1933: 5. Claset’s competition for this title included Tim McKeithan, Sugar Cain, Ed Cole, Eddie Kershner, Jim Peterson, Henry McDonald, and John Merena.

31 James C. Isaminger, “Cain and Dietrich, Elliott and Berly Peak Foremen Today,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 1, 1933: 16; James C. Isaminger, “Mackmen Will Play First Game Monday,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 3, 1933: 18; “Claset, Once Wildest Southpaw in City, Working His 220 Pounds for Connie Mack;” “Claset to Let Lefty Keep his ‘High Hard One,’” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 30, 1933: 20.

32 James C. Isaminger, “Claset’s Flinging Impressive, While Johnson Hits 3 Doubles,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 31, 1933: 16; James C. Isaminger, “Under the Spotlight,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 2, 1933: 3:5.

33 James C. Isaminger, “Injury to Shoulder Brings Hurler Back,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 10, 1933: 13.

34 James C. Isaminger, “A’s Get Five in Last Stand of Rained-Out Fray for 6th In Row,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 25, 1933: 17. In the fifth inning of the game, Claset also drew a walk off Browns pitcher Bump Hadley and came around to score on three more walks.

35 “Mack Suspends, Fines Earnshaw,” Chester (Pennsylvania) Times, June 5, 1933: 11.

36 John B. Keller, “Fails to Produce in Tilts with A’s,” Washington (District of Columbia) Evening Star, June 8, 1933: D1. Another reference to Earnshaw and Claset’s “bad boy stunts” can be found in Bob Stedler, “Karpe’s Comment,” Buffalo Evening News, June 8, 1933: 31.

37 “Athletics Are ‘Off’ Earnshaw; Unfitness to Pitch Cost Yankee Tilt Last Saturday, They Assert,” Washington Evening Star, June 6, 1933: C1. By at least one report, Claset also enjoyed the nightlife during his stint with Montreal. D.A.L. MacDonald, “Sports on Parade,” Montreal Gazette, August 28, 1948: 21, reported in retrospect that Claset “liked to look at the wine while it was red.”

38 The only man to face Claset in the second inning reached base, and reliever Jim Peterson allowed him to score. Washington starter Earl Whitehill wasn’t much better, being pulled two batters into the second inning. The game was tied, 13-13, when rain and wind ended it in the 10th inning.

39 “After Sound Drubbing Mack Chases Claset to Orioles,” Philadelphia Inquirer, June 8, 1933: 15.

40 “Behind the Plate,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News, July 16, 1933: 14; Howard Pierce, “Along the Sidelines,” Elmira Star-Gazette, January 6, 1943: 12.

41 “Claset’s Return to Macks Seen as Birds’ Next Move,” Baltimore Evening Sun, July 6, 1933: 26.

42 FamilySearch entry for Gowell Claset, accessed September 2023. Claset’s marriage is also mentioned in “Royals Capture Sixteen-Inning Tilt from Birds,” Montreal Gazette, July 12, 1933: 12, and “Behind the Plate,” Battle Creek Enquirer and Evening News.

43 The won-lost record and ERA, given by Baseball-Reference, are confirmed by a contemporary source: “Tauscher A.A.’s Best Winner, but Earned Run Mark Goes to Hatter,” Minneapolis Star, November 7, 1934: 13.

44 Charles Johnson, “Kels’ Playoff Hopes Depend on Home Stand,” Minneapolis Star, August 3, 1934: 14; Charles Johnson, “Pat Malone Was Last Miller to Hit High Mark,” Minneapolis Star, August 9, 1934: 11. The author also consulted the game’s box score, which appeared on page 12 of the August 9 edition.

45 “Manager M’Cann Stricken Very Ill,” Hazleton (Pennsylvania) Standard-Sentinel, July 22, 1935: 12; “Novak to Manage Elmira Pioneers,” Reading Times, July 23, 1935: 15. McCann took his own life in 1937 at age 35.

46 “Martin Is Due to Join Team at Scranton,” Binghamton (New York) Press, August 7, 1935: 20.

47 “Plastered” is a slang term for “drunk.” Ed Van Dyke, “Fan Fare,” Elmira Star-Gazette, August 12, 1935: 9.

48 Ed Van Dyke, “Fan Fare.”

49 Ed Van Dyke, “5,389 See Pioneers Lose in Final Game,” Elmira Star-Gazette, September 9, 1935: 11. The box score says Hanlon worked 5⅓ innings and Claset 3⅔, but the game story details that Hanlon was yanked with one out in the fifth – which would have made Hanlon’s workload 4⅓ innings and Claset’s 4⅔. This article sides with the game story. 

50 “Elmira Gets Gowell Claset from St. Paul,” Elmira Star-Gazette, February 14, 1936: 19. It seems likely that the foundry in question was the General Electric facility where Claset worked full-time after his retirement from baseball, but the story does not specifically say so. Baseball-Reference lists Claset’s 1936 record as 8-14; the record here is taken from “Final New York-Pennsylvania League Pitching,” Allentown (Pennsylvania) Morning Call, September 20, 1936: 14.

51 Harry O’Donnell, “Shorts in Sports from Around and Here,” Elmira Star-Gazette, May 13, 1936: 14.

52 “Day’s Sporting News and Views,” Hazleton Plain Speaker, June 10, 1936: 12.

53 “Scranton Wins Series Opener,” Scranton Republican, September 16, 1936: 1.

54 Associated Press, “Joe Shaute Blanks Elmira as Scranton Wins Third Straight,” Hazleton Standard-Sentinel, September 21, 1936: 9. Scranton won the playoff series with four wins, no losses, and one tie.

55 Harry O’Donnell, “Krause to Get His Chance in Fast Company,” Elmira Star-Gazette, September 17, 1938: 9; “You’re Telling Me,” Hazleton Standard-Speaker, May 31, 1938: 13.

56 1950 US Census listing for Gowell Claset, accessed September 2023 through Familysearch.org; “Kahler Chosen on Manpower Committee,” Elmira Star-Gazette, March 9, 1943: 7.

57 “Republicans Make Clean Sweep in Chemung County,” Elmira Star-Gazette, November 4, 1942: 9; “Supervisors Complete Vote Canvass,” Elmira Star-Gazette, November 14, 1942: 2.

58 John Claset ranked second in the league in strikeouts, trailing only future Pittsburgh Pirate Whammy Douglas, who had 273.

59 Al Mallette, “They Said It,” Elmira Star-Gazette, February 16, 1973: 13.

60 “Ex-Elmiran Dies,” Elmira Star-Gazette, December 6, 1975: 5. A brief letter from Vera Olson Claset, dated July 25, 1981, is included in Gowell Claset’s clip file at the Giamatti Research Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

61 “Claset, Gowell S.,” Elmira Star-Gazette, March 17, 1981: 5C. This brief obituary does not list a cause of death, and Claset’s Hall of Fame clip file does not include his death certificate. Claset’s obituary also included no information on services. According to his entry on FindAGrave.com, Claset was cremated.

Full Name

Gowell Sylvester Claset


November 26, 1907 at Battle Creek, MI (USA)


March 8, 1981 at St. Petersburg, FL (USA)

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