Howard Ehmke

Howard Ehmke is best remembered as the 35-year-old right-hander of the Philadelphia Athletics who unexpectedly started Game One of the 1929 World Series against the slugging Chicago Cubs and struck out a then record 13 en route to a surprising triumph in one of Connie Mack’s most famous tactical decisions. But it would be an injustice to reduce Ehmke to just that victory, the last in his career. Over an eight-year stretch, from 1919 to 1926, he was one of the American League’s most durable hurlers, averaging 16 wins, 21 complete games, and 266 innings per season for weak Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox teams. While winning 20 games for last-place Boston in 1923, Ehmke tossed a no-hitter and came within an official scorer’s controversial call on what appeared to be a muffed ball of his second straight no-hitter four days later. After retiring from baseball with 166 wins and 166 losses, in 1930, Ehmke founded a company that produced the first tarpaulins that could be spread over baseball infields.

Howard Jonathan Ehmke was born on April 24, 1894, in the small town of Silver Creek, located on the banks of Lake Erie, about 35 miles southwest of Buffalo, New York. His parents were Charles Ehmke, who emigrated from Germany at the age of 2 in 1857 and owned a sawmill in town, and Julia (Green) Ehmke, a first-generation Swede. They married in 1875 and raised 11 children; Bob, as Howard was called as a child, was the ninth child and the fifth of six boys. All of the Ehmke boys were athletic and played baseball, football, and basketball as the seasons changed. Howard, a tall and lanky youth, pitched for Silver Creek High School and also hurled for a local town team, the Horseshoes. An affluent family, the Ehmkes sent their children in the summer to Camp Tecumseh in Moultonborough, New Hampshire, where Howard pitched for the camp team and competed against other local nines. It was widely expected that Howard would follow his brothers’ footsteps and enroll at Brown University, but when his brother Charley moved to Los Angeles, Howard followed him in 1913. He attended Glendale High School for one year.

The Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League signed Ehmke on the recommendation of Charles “Boots” Weber, team secretary and scout. Playing against mature competition, the 20-year-old won his first eight decisions and immediately attracted the attention of big-league scouts. “Never before in the entire baseball world has there been a young pitcher raised from the cradle to the regular’s berth in the same way as Ehmke,” wrote the San Bernardino County Sun.1 By June major-league teams were scrambling to sign the player who was routinely compared to Walter Johnson; however, Clark Griffith, owner of the Washington Senators, had an inside track: Frank “Pop” Dillon, manager of the Angels, was his cousin. In August, Ehmke was sold to the Senators for an estimated $7,500, but the youngster was in no rush to sign a contract that didn’t give him a portion of his sale price.2 According to Sporting Life, one of Ehmke’s brothers, a lawyer, intervened and wrote Griffith a letter demanding a multiyear contract and signing bonus which the weekly derided as the “richest joke of the season.”3 Ehmke, who finished the campaign with a 12-11 record and 2.79 ERA in 232 innings, was also courted by several teams in the Federal League. As the saga continued into the offseason and played out in national media, Ehmke “jumped” to the “outlaw” Federal League by signing with the Buffalo Blues.4

Plagued by elbow miseries, Ehmke’s season with the Blues was a bust (0-2; 5.53 ERA in 53.2 innings). When the Federal League disbanded after the season, Ehmke’s future was unclear. “I don’t want any of them on my team,” decried Griffith in reference to Ehmke, Bob Groom, and Frank Laporte; the latter two played for the Senators in 1913 and jumped to the Federal League in 1914.5

In 1916 Ehmke signed with the Syracuse Stars of the Class B New York State League. En route to winning a league-high 31 games and a 1.55 ERA in 302 innings while leading the club to the league title, Ehmke once again attracted national attention when confusion arose about the legal owner of the player’s rights. In July the Detroit Tigers purchased Ehmke from Syracuse for a reported $4,000, whereupon Clark Griffith argued that he had never waived his claim to the pitcher and was still the rightful owner.6 Ultimately AL President Ban Johnson ruled that Ehmke was the property of the Senators, who subsequently sold their rights to the pitcher to Detroit in August.7

The Tigers, in a heated pennant race with the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox, promoted Ehmke in early September. Following a 1?-inning relief appearance in his debut on September 10, Ehmke made his first start two days later and tossed a complete-game seven-hitter to defeat the Cleveland Indians. “[Ehmke] put so much stuff on the ball that the Indians, reckoned as a hard-hitting club, were as helpless as babes,” wrote E.A. Batchelor.8 In his next start, on September 16, Ehmke went the distance to defeat the Philadelphia Athletics, 4-3, and move the Tigers into first place for the first time since April 29. While Detroit won only four of its final 11 games to finish in third place, Ehmke took personal satisfaction by tossing his fourth straight complete game to defeat the Senators and Walter Johnson, and finish the season with a 3-1 record.

Ehmke was known for his overhand, side-arm, and submarine-style deliveries and was considered a hard-throwing strikeout artist in the first half of his career. He set a New York State League record by whiffing 195 in 1916 and ranked in the top four in strikeouts in the AL from 1922 to 1925. His pitching arsenal included a fastball, curveball, and several variations of slowballs. In his later years, as his fastball diminished, he relied almost exclusively on slowballs and curves. He was also considered among the inventors of the “hesitation ball,” which he initially threw overhand and later side-arm. “He starts to wind up,” wrote Harry P. Edwards, and “pauses for an exceedingly brief fraction of a second, thus throwing the batter off stride. Of course it only can be used when the bases are clear. Otherwise, it would be a balk.”9 Ehmke threw both curves and slowballs as a hesitation pitch, which the Philadelphia press dubbed the “shade ball” because the batter lost the white ball against the backdrop of fans with white shirts in the center-field stands.10

Throughout his career, Ehmke was described as tall, gangly, emaciated, a beanpole, or a stringbean. He was 6-feet-3 and weighed about 165 pounds (though he gained 25 pounds by the late 1920s). Contemporary reports often mentioned his “slender [right] wrist, long hand, and flexible fingers” which could easily hold, even conceal a baseball.11 “Ehmke had an angular wind up that suggested a professional contortionist,” wrote F.C. Lane in Baseball Magazine. “His thin arms and legs sprawled all over the landscape, or so it seemed to the harassed batter. Ehmke had a trick of delivering the ball so that it came at the batter against this backdrop of undulating arms and legs.”12 Ehmke has a “wind-up like a bologna bender,” read one especially poetic description.13 According to sportswriter Sam Murphy, Ehmke was a master of the “cross fire delivery.”14 Ehmke stepped as far as possible to third base and threw across his body. In his submarine delivery, Ehmke reared back and then hurtled forward with his right arm whipping downward, his hand almost touching the ground, before he followed through with his arm across his chest. The cumulative effect of Ehmke’s various deliveries, changing speeds, and the movement of his arms was unsettling to the batter and diverted his attention.

Praised by Tigers beat reporter H.G. Salsinger as the “most promising hurler Detroit ever harbored,” Ehmke began his first full season in the major leagues by losing his first three decisions, and came down with a sore arm.15 He returned two weeks later to toss two impressive complete-game victories, a three-hitter and a five-hitter over 12 innings. But like the Tigers, who struggled to play .500 for most of the season and finished in a disappointing fourth place, Ehmke was inconsistent. He exhibited a “fire brand of hurling on occasions,” wrote W.A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine, but the 23-year-old finished with a disappointing 10-15 record and a 2.97 ERA in 206 frames.16 Four of his victories came via shutout (three times against the reigning World Series champion Red Sox), including his final start, a three-hitter against “the Big Train” and the Senators.

In the wake of the US’s entry into World War I, Ehmke enlisted in the Navy and missed the entire 1918 season.17 He was stationed at the Submarine Base in San Pedro, California, where he pitched for the camp team and rose to the rank of Musician 2nd class.

Discharged from the Navy in March 1919, Ehmke tossed a complete game to defeat Cleveland on Opening Day. While the Tigers played .500 ball for skipper Hughie Jennings through July 7, Ehmke, “the only flinger showing real class,” tossed a one-hit shutout against the Indians and a three-hitter against the St. Louis Browns to improve his record to 9-6.18 Described as baseball’s “eminent slowballer,” Ehmke had the two longest outings (both complete-game victories) in his career (14 innings against Philadelphia on July 16 and an epic 16-inning duel with Dickey Kerr of the White Sox on September 2) as the Tigers went 48-28 to make a brief run at the pennant before finishing in fourth place (80-60).19 Despite missing almost three weeks in August with a “lame arm,” Ehmke finished with a 17-10 record, completed 20 of 31 starts and posted a 3.18 ERA in 248.2 innings; he also led the major leagues with 107 walks.

Ehmke got off to a miserable start in 1920, losing his first five starts, and by July 14 was 4-12 for the 24-52 Tigers. Frustrated sportswriters criticized Ehmke for being “too careless” and being overconfident;20 while others claimed he needed to be tougher because he “grows flighty and sulks if things go wrong.”21 Ehmke turned his season around by winning nine of his next 10 starts and posting a 1.79 ERA over 90? innings from July 17 to August 26. “Opposing batters say his curves are uncanny,” wrote sportswriter William B. Hanna. “Tris Speaker has declared it almost impossible for a batter to brace himself against one of Ehmke’s shoots so sharply and bewilderly do they break.”22 Supplanting veteran Hooks Dauss as the club’s ace, Ehmke finished 15-18, completed 23 of 33 starts, and had a 3.25 ERA in 268.1 innings.

The 1921 season got under way in Detroit with great anticipation with the hiring of living legend Ty Cobb as player-manager. However, the next two years were anything by pleasant for Ehmke as his relationship with his feisty skipper grew increasingly acrimonious. The 27-year-old hurler suffered through an erratic and injury-filled campaign in 1921, sidelined twice for a total of about five weeks in August and September. Described as a “mystery” and “failure,” Ehmke (13-14) logged 196.1 innings and posted a high ERA (4.54), which was inflated by two dreadful complete-game losses to the Yankees (13-8 and 10-2) when Cobb kept him in the game despite a shellacking.23

While the Tigers’ seventh-place finish in Cobb’s first year as skipper tempered expectations for 1922, the media reported on trade rumors involving Ehmke and his falling-out with the Georgia Peach. “It’s no secret that I was unhappy under Cobb,” said Ehmke in an interview from 1952. “I didn’t like the way he handled me and I didn’t like his type of baseball.”24 Ehmke objected to Cobb’s tyrannical rule, his desire to micromanage and dictate how pitchers threw, his constant shuffling of starting assignments, and being used too frequently as a reliever (29 starts and 16 relief outings in 1922). The mild-mannered pitcher also abhorred Cobb’s unsportsmanlike play. “[Cobb] didn’t tolerate any timidity,” said Ehmke. “When he gave you the sign to throw at a hitter you went through with it or it cost you money.”25 Ehmke led the AL in hit batters in 1921 and 1922; and also 1923, 1925, and 1927. Whereas Cobb was uncouth, ornery, racist, and a nasty drunk, Ehmke was described as a “fellow of gentle soul, soft spoken, diffident, shy. In his personal habit he is as fastidious as a girl. He has never tasted liquor or tobacco.”26

Cobb levied accusations that had dogged Ehmke the previous several years, namely that he was indifferent, disinterested, and lacked the mental toughness to be a winner. Sportswriters aped Cobb’s criticisms. “[F]or several seasons [Ehmke] gave promise of being a real ‘great’ in the American League, but his disposition has been against him and he has fallen down,” wrote K.W. Hall.27 However, Ehmke was not passive; on several occasions, he and Cobb engaged in shoving matches, if not outright blows.28 For the third-place Tygers, as the media liked to spell the team’s name, Ehmke split his 34 decisions in 1922, and once again posted a high ERA (4.22) in 279? innings. On October 30 Ehmke, along with utilityman Danny Clark, pitcher Carl Holling, minor leaguer Babe Herman, and $25,000, was shipped to the Boston Red Sox for righty Rip Collins and infielder Del Pratt.

Ehmke arrived on a Boston club that had finished in last place in 1922, and had sunk to unimaginable depths since capturing its fourth World Series title in seven years, in 1918, and selling Babe Ruth after the following season. The club’s Opening Day starter, Ehmke lost, 4-1, to Ruth and the Bronx Bombers in the inaugural game in Yankee Stadium, on April 18; befitting history, the Bambino belted the first homer. While the Red Sox repeated their cellar-dwelling finish in 1923, Ehmke was described as an “inspiration” to his teammates. “[He] is not only the best pitcher on the Boston team, he seems to be about the best since the days of George [Rube] Foster,” wrote beat reporter Gus Rooney of the diminutive righty who won two games for the 1915 World Series winning Red Sox.29 Two starts after completing a 12-inning contest to defeat his old nemesis, the Senators, Ehmke faced his former Tigers teammates for the first time, on May 18, and went the route in a 10-inning, 6-2 victory that revived the animosities between the pitcher and Cobb. “I hit Cobb on the knee with a fast ball,” said Ehmke. “He made gestures of throwing the bat at me. …When I went under the stands at the end of the game, he was waiting for me. He took a shot at me and we scuffled around.”30

Ehmke became a fan favorite at Fenway Park. “Boston fans are strong for him,” wrote Rooney, and “like his spirit to go to the hill and pitch his heart out.”31 For a terrible team that won just 61 games in 1923, Ehmke corralled 20 of them, lost 17, and posted a sturdy 3.78 ERA. He finished second in the AL and set career highs in complete games (28), starts (39), and innings (316?), and by at least one modern metric was the best pitcher in the AL.32 In a dig against Cobb, Ehmke credited his skipper, Frank Chance, for his success: “I have been allowed to use my own method and my own thinking. Chance never said a word to me.”33

Ehmke’s season was defined by two games over a four-day period in early September. On the 7th, he held the Philadelphia Athletics hitless at Shibe Park, but the 4-0 victory was not without peculiarities. It appeared as though Ehmke had lost a no-hit bid in the sixth inning when his mound counterpart, Slim Harriss, lined a hit to left field, but was tagged out for failing to touch first base.34 In the eighth inning, left fielder Mike Menosky fumbled Frank Welch’s liner, which was initially ruled a hit, then changed to an error at the end of the inning.35 Four days later at Yankee Stadium, Ehmke yielded a “puzzling grounder” to Whitey Witt, the first batter of the game.36 Third baseman Howie Shanks “fumbled the ball” and did not attempt to throw to first. The official scorer, New York sportswriter Fred Lieb, ruled the play a hit.37 Ehmke did not allow another hit the entire game, and won 3-0. Lieb’s decision was controversial, to say the least. “I thought it was an error all the way,” said Witt.38 As memorable as these two games were, his final start of the season was one of the worst in big-league history: he surrendered a whopping 21 hits and 17 runs (16 earned), and walked four in a sobering 24-4 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park.

The 30-year-old hurler might have enjoyed his best season in 1924 for the lackluster, seventh-place Red Sox despite tying for the AL lead with 17 losses.39 He won 19 games, led the league with 315 innings pitched, finished second in complete games (26), starts (36), and strikeouts (119), and cracked the top 10 in ERA (3.46) for the only time in his career. “Ehmke has the greatest assortment of stuff (of) any pitcher I ever caught,” said Boston’s Steve O’Neill. “Plus a baffling delivery make him the toughest bird in the game to solve. I never heard an American League player say that he liked to hit against Ehmke.”40 Ehmke tossed a career-high four shutouts and twice won 11-inning complete games. The gangly hurler, a .208 career hitter, also helped himself by scoring 14 times and driving in the same number of runs, both career bests.

In spring training in 1925 Ehmke was diagnosed with a “twisted ligament” and was sent to a hospital in Rochester, New York, where he contacted influenza.41 He missed the first two weeks of the season and did not register his first victory until May 26. “All in all, the Sox look none too good,” read one report, but it made an exception for Ehmke, who tossed his fourth straight complete-game victory to improve his record to 5-3 for the last-place Red Sox.42 And then the bottom dropped. In the hitherto worst season in Red Sox history (47-105), Ehmke won only three of his next 20 decisions before a going the distance to beat Washington in his final start of the season. One of those losses came on July 8 at Navin Field in Detroit in a game that saw the return of hostilities between Ehmke and Cobb. When Cobb slid spikes-high into first base and nailed Ehmke, who was covering the bag, a shoving match ensued and the players were calmed down by their teammates.43 Ehmke’s 9-20 record was misleading. He led the AL with 22 complete games in 31 starts, and his 3.73 ERA in 260.2 innings ranked 12th in the circuit.

For the fifth consecutive season, the Red Sox finished last in attendance in the AL. Not even the forced sale of the club by Harry Frazee in early 1923 to a consortium of businessmen led by veteran baseball man Bob Quinn could end the losing. Ehmke, despite being the only consistent contributor, had endured constant trade rumors for the cash-strapped club since his acquisition in 1922. Ehmke must have been surprised, perhaps even excited, to learn from an AP headline in December 1925 that he had been traded to the Yankees in exchange for Waite Hoyt and Aaron Ward.44

The Associated Press was about six months premature in its announcement of Ehmke’s trade. And it wasn’t to the Yankees (Boston’s favorite trading partner), but rather to the Philadelphia Athletics, who also received journeyman Tom Jenkins in exchange for hurlers Slim Harriss and Fred Heimach, and center fielder Baby Doll Jacobson on June 15. Ehmke had pitched erratically for Boston in 1926, winning just three of 13 decisions with a miserable ERA (5.46). No doubt he looked forward to pitching for a winning team. The Athletics had finished in second place the previous year, breaking a string of 10 consecutive losing seasons after owner-manager Connie Mack dismantled his dynasty after the 1914 World Series in the wake of spiraling salaries fueled by the Federal League. “One has mixed feelings about the folly of this deal,” wrote Philadelphia sportswriter James C. Isaminger.”45 After getting shellacked in his first two starts with the A’s, Ehmke tossed 12 innings (the 17th and final time he pitched at least 10 innings) in an eventual 13-inning win against Boston and earned Mack’s confidence. In a stunning reversal, Ehmke became the staff’s ace, going 12-4 with a 2.81 ERA for the rest of the season. He finished with a combined 15-14 record, completed 17 of 32 starts, and logged 244.2 innings.

The year 1927 started out bad for Ehmke and got worse. In January he was among a group of players who testified in Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis’s investigation into charges that Chicago White Sox players had paid Detroit Tigers pitchers to “slough” off in an early September 1917 series during the former’s pennant drive.46 Ehmke denied all charges and wasn’t implicated in any wrongdoing. During spring training he was slowed by tonsillitis and then hampered by chronic arm pain. When Ehmke failed to register an out and surrendered four runs against the lowly Red Sox on July 4, Mack shook up the team by suspending the pitcher for two weeks for not being physically ready to pitch.47 “I felt discouraged and disgusted,” Ehmke once admitted about his arm woes, which remained with him for the rest of his career.48 He performed much better when he returned in August (6-2, 3.21 ERA) to finish with a 12-10 record and 4.22 ERA in 189.2 innings for the AL runner-up.

In the wake of Ehmke’s five-game losing streak and a knee injury that prematurely ended his 1928 season, many wondered if the 34-year-old who logged just 139.1 innings would return to the A’s in 1929. But Mack had a soft spot for the teetotaling hurler. While the A’s cruised to the pennant with a 104-46 record, Ehmke was relegated to a spot starter, logging just 5.2 innings.

Mack’s decision to start seven-game-winner Ehmke instead of southpaws Lefty Grove (20-6) and Rube Walberg (18-11) or righty George Earnshaw (24-8) in Game One of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs shocked the baseball world, but it was a calculated move by the Tall Tactician. According to Ehmke, the plan was hatched in early September when the two discussed the right-handed-heavy and free-swinging Chicago lineup.49 Prior to making his final start of the season, a victory over the White Sox on September 13, Ehmke had scouted the Cubs, who had played the Phillies several blocks away from Shibe Park in the Baker Bowl in a three-game series on August 22-24.

On October 8, in front of more than 50,000 spectators, Ehmke hurled a complete-game eight-hitter to defeat the Cubs, 3-1 in one of the most storied games in the history of the fall classic. He set a Series record with 13 strikeouts, including Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby, Hack Wilson, and Kiki Cuyler twice each, and walked just one. In the dramatic conclusion of the game, Ehmke faced Chick Tolson in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and third. The Cubs had scored an unearned run that frame and trailed, 3-1. With the count 3 and 1, Ehmke had a conference with catcher Mickey Cochrane, whom he instructed to yell “hit it” as the ball approached the plate. “Well, Mike yelled and Tolson swung,” recounted Ehmke. “[T]hat yell kind of disturbed his timing. He swung too fast.”50 Ehmke had a chance to close out the Series in Game Five in Philadelphia, but last only 3.2 innings, surrendering six hits and two runs. He was relieved by Walberg, who shut down the Cubs on two hits and picked up the Series-clinching victory when Bing Miller hit a walk-off double.

Ehmke returned to the A’s in 1930, but made only three ineffective appearances before announcing his retirement in May. In his 15-year big-league career, Ehmke posted a 166-166 record, completed 199 of his 338 starts, and carved out a 3.75 ERA in 2,820.2 innings over 427 appearances.

Ehmke was well positioned to transition into his post-playing career. He had married Marguerite Poindexter, about a decade earlier, and resided in the Germantown neighborhood in Philadelphia. They had no children. In the late 1920s Ehmke began representing a Detroit-based firm that manufactured tarpaulins that covered football fields.51 In 1929 he opened his own business, Ehmke Manufacturing, in the City of Brotherly Love, and is credited with developing the first canvas tarpaulin to cover baseball infields.52 He maintained a close relationship with the A’s, who were the first team to use the tarpaulin, in Shibe Park, and also appeared occasionally in exhibition or charity events. He was also an accomplished golfer.

On March 17, 1959, Ehmke died at Germantown Hospital Philadelphia at the age of 64, and was cremated. According to his death certificate, the cause was acute meningitis.


Last revised: October 9, 2020 (ghw)


In addition to the sources listed in the notes, the author consulted the Howard Ehmke player file, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York.



1 Ernest A. Phillips, “Diamond Dust,” San Bernardino County (California) Sun, May 23, 1914, 3.

2 “Dreyfuss Offers $5,000 for Youth,” Pittsburgh Press, June 10, 1914, 19. Sporting Life, December 5, 1914, 12.

3 The Sporting Life, February 13, 1915, 6.

4 Stanley T. Milliken, “Ehmke Threatens to Jump to the Federals – G.W. Is Winner at Baseball,” Washington Post, February 5, 1915, 8.

5 William Peet, “Baseball Peace Meeting Adjourns to Reconvene in Cincinnati,” Washington Herald, December 18, 1915, 21.

6 Detroit also sent pitcher George Boehler to Syracuse to complete the deal. “Detroit Pays $4,000 To Get Ehmke.” San Francisco Chronicle, July 29, 1916, 6.

7 According to Louis A. Dougher, Griffith laid claim to Ehmke when the Federal Feague disbanded; see “Howard Ehmke To Get Try-Out Here in 1917,” Washington Post, August 10, 1916, 10. See also “Sells Twirler Ehmke,” Washington Post, August 16, 1916, 8.

8 E.A. Batchelor quoted in “Big Bats Pad Pitcher Ehmke,” Scranton (Pennsylvania) Republican, September 19, 1916, 12.

9 Harry P. Edwards, American League Service Bureau, February 1930. [Unattributed article in player’s Hall of Fame file].

10 Sam Murphy, “Two Athletics Peg For Bonus.” [Unattributed article dated 1930 in player’s Hall of Fame file].

11 F.C. Lane, “Inside Dope From a Player’s Perspective,” Baseball Magazine, July 1918, 275.

12 F.C. Lane in Baseball Magazine, January 1937, from Bill James and Rob Neyer, The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (New York: Fireside, 2004), 195.

13 “Baseball Gossip,” The News-Herald (Franklin, Pennsylvania), October 13,1922, 3.

14 Sam Murphy, “Two Athletics Peg For Bonus.” [Unattributed article dated 1930 in player’s Hall of Fame file].

15 The Sporting News, January 4, 1917, 3.

16 Wm. A. Phelon, “Baseball History in the Making,” Baseball Magazine, September 1917, 510.

17 Associated Press, “Detroit Is Set back When Ehmke Enlists,” (Portland) Oregon Daily, January 14, 1918, 10.

18 “Jennings Hurlers Are Worrying Him,” Washington Times, May 2, 1919, 23.

19 W.O. McGeehan, “Quinn Remains Too Long, With Fatal results,” New York Tribune, August 3, 1919, 16.

20 “Confidence Is Big Handicap to Ehmke,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, August 4, 1919, 8.

21 “Ehmke – If He Toughens His Disposition He Will Become League’s Leading Pitcher,” Ironwood (Michigan) Daily Globe, May 29, 1920, 6.

22 William B. Hanna, “Yankees Weak At Bat, Lose To Tigers, 1-0,” The Sun and New York Herald, August 9, 1920, 8.

23 “Sport Comment,” The Evening News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), December 31, 1921, 13.

24 Ed Pollack, “Playing the Game,” Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, May 19, 1952.

25 “Mr. Ehmke and the Bean Ball,” December 9, 1937. [[Unattributed article in player’s Hall of Fame file].

26 Hanna.

27 The Sporting News, November 9, 1922, 1.

28 The Sporting News, October 4, 1923, 4.

29 The Sporting News, June 21, 1923, 2.

30 Pollack.

31 The Sporting News, June 21, 1923, 2.

32 According to, Ehmke accumulated 6.3 WAR, an acronym for Wins Above Replacement. A somewhat controversial metric, WAR is defined by that site as “a single number that presents the number of wins the player added to the team above what a replacement player would add.”

33 Christy Walsh, “Howard Ehmke Finally Pitches a No-Hit Gem,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 21, 1923, 2H.

34 “A’s Victims,” Reading (Pennsylvania) Times, September 8, 1923, 8.

35 Ibid.

36 “Ehmke Held Yanks To 1 Hit,” Fitchburg (Massachusetts) Sentinel, September 12, 1923, 8.

37 The Sporting News, September 20, 1923, 1.

38 John McKeon, “Howard Ehmke Lost His Shot At Immortality To A Controversial Scorer’s Decision.” Die Hard, March 1995, 22.

39 According to, Ehmke once again led the AL in WAR for pitchers with 8.3.

40 Newspaper Enterprise Association, “Passed Up By Cobb; Ehmke Now Greatest Hurler,” Freeport (Illinois) Journal Standard, July 11, 1924, 9.

41 “Ehmke Is Out Of Game Two Weeks,” Bridgeport (Connecticut) Telegram, April 18, 1925, 18.

42 “Ehmke Pitching Great Ball Again,” Scranton Republican, June 25, 1925, 16.

43 The Sporting News, July 16, 1925,1

44 Associated Press, “Ehmke Traded To Yankees For Hoyt and Ward,” Alton (Illinois) Evening Telegraph, December 11, 1925, 8.

45 The Sporting News, June 24, 1926, 3.

46 Associated Press, “Risberg Spills Story Concerning Shabby Baseball Several Years Ago,” Kingston (Tennessee) Times, January 2, 1927, 3.

47 “Connie Mack Shakes Up Team and Howard Ehmke Is Sent Home,” The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin), July 6, 1927, 6.

48 Al Horwits, “Ehmke To Pitch Again Next Year.” [Unattributed article dated 1929 in player’s Hall of Fame file].

49 William E. Brandt, “The Pitchers’ Arms,” The Saturday Evening Post, August 23, 1930.

50 Ibid.

51 “Bears May Purchase Canvas Field Cover,” Oakland Tribune, December 31, 1927, 12.

52 John McKeon and Steve Jarvi, “Ehmke developed the first infield tarpaulin.” [Unattributed article in player’s Hall of Fame file]. Ehmke Manufacturing still existed in Philadelphia as of 2015; the Ehmke family sold the company more than a half-century ago.

Full Name

Howard Jonathan Ehmke


April 24, 1894 at Silver Creek, NY (USA)


March 17, 1959 at Philadelphia, PA (USA)

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