Today marks the 70th anniversary of the death of
Barney Pelty (September 10, 1880 – May 24, 1939),
who was a major league baseball pitcher known as “the
Yiddish Curver” because he was one of the first Jewish
baseball players in the American League. Pelty was
proud of his Jewish heritage as indicated by his
nickname, and did not change his name or hide his
identity like some other Jewish players of the era.
His career ERA was 2.63, 60th-best of all pitchers in major league baseball, and through 2006 he ranks 71st in hits per 9 innings, and 48th in batters plunked.
He was one of the best Jewish pitchers in major league history, ranking first in career ERA (ahead of # 2 Sandy Koufax), 5th in wins (92), and 6th in strikeouts (693).
He was a workhorse for the St. Louis Browns, a member of their starting rotation from 1904, when he pitched 31 complete games and 301 innings, through 1911.
In 1904 he led the league in hit batsmen (20), and was 6th in wild pitches (9). In 1905 he was 14-14 with a 2.75 ERA, while the team’s other pitchers were a combined 40-85.
His peak year was 1906, when he went 16-11 with a 1.59 ERA (2nd in the AL). He also led the league in fewest hits allowed per 9 innings pitched (6.53) and lowest batting average (.206), and was 2nd in hit batsmen (19). He especially was dominant against the World Series champion 1906 White Sox, allowing one run in 32 innings. In one three-game series against Chicago, Pelty pitched every game, including a 0-0 tie in 10 innings. His 1.59 ERA is the lowest in the history of the Browns/Baltimore Orioles franchise.
In 1907 he lost a league-high 21 games and hit a league-high 19 batters, while pitching 5 shutouts (6th best in the league) and 29 complete games (also 6th best).
In 1908, the right-hander improved to 7-4, 1.99 in a reduced role.
In 1909 he pitched 5 shutouts, 5th-best in the AL. He also was 10th-best in the league in fewest hits allowed per 9 innings pitched (7.13)
On June 11, 1912, he was purchased by the Washington Senators from the St. Louis Browns. He finished his career with the Senators that year.
He gave up 22 home runs in 1,908 innings in his career. He did not mind pitching inside, leading the league in hit batsmen in 1904 and 1907. While he gave up only 558 earned runs lifetime, errors by his teammates (and by him — he had 12 in 1906) let in nearly another 200 unearned runs lifetime.
Pelty pitched 22 career shutouts, but was shut out 32 times, including nine 1-0 defeats due to poor offensive support.
Yesterday, we a couple of modern day “Yiddish Curver” do well, so read on and you’ll see how they did!
Brad Ausmus, C – Los Angeles Dodgers
Brad didn’t play in yesterday’s extra-inning Dodgers win over the Angels.
Ryan Braun, OF, 3B – Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .336. However, Ryan made an errant throw in the 3rd inning, which eventually led to two Twins runs in their victory over the Brewers.
Craig Breslow, P – Oakland A’s
Craig’s second appearance in an A’s uniform didn’t go quite as well as his first one as he was the losing pitcher in yesterday’s D-Backs extra-inning victory over the A’s. He pitched a scoreless 10th inning and allowed the leadoff hitter to single in the 11th, but got him on a fielder’s choice. He was then relieved by Santiago Casilla, who allowed that runner and two others to score.
Craig’s record fell to 1-3 and his ERA actually fell to 5.94.
Scott Feldman, P – Texas Rangers
Scott pitched a season-high 6 and 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks. All three runs scored on home runs. He also struck out 5 batters.
His effort impressed Astros manager Cecil Cooper, who said, “His command was much better. The last time we faced him, we beat him up pretty good.”
Scott was also featured in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated as one of the athletes asked to answer questions for “The Pop Culture Grid,” where he said the animal that he most resembles is a Labrador retriever! Here’s a comparison:
John Grabow, P, Pittsburgh Pirates
John didn’t pitch in yesterday’s Pirates loss to the ChiSox.
Gabe Kapler, OF – Tampa Bay Rays
Gabe went 0-for-2, with a walk in yesterday’s Rays victory over the Fish. His average fell to .190. New picture of Mario Mendoza below!
Ian Kinsler, 2B – Texas Rangers
Ian got a day off for the first time this season after slumping for the last week.
Jason Marquis, P – Colorado Rockies
Jason (6-3) allowed three runs on six hits, and a walk and struck out four in 7 and 2/3 innings to win his second straight start. He threw 103 pitches to the Tigers before coming out of the game.
“I had to battle through some things early, but I felt like I cruising from about the fourth inning on,” Marquis said. “I had my good fastball tonight and I was able to keep it down in the zone.”
“He didn’t give us much of a chance tonight,” Tigers 3B Brandon Inge said. “That was the key tonight, he just shut us down.”
Jason gets a Chai 5 for the win!
Scott Schoeneweis, P – Arizona Diamondbacks
Scott is currently dealing with the unexpected loss of his wife. My prayers are with him.
Kevin Youkilis, 1B, 3B – Boston Red Sox
Youk went 1-for-3 and drove in both of Boston’s runs the BoSox loss to Mets. His average fell to slightly to .388.
Youk has earned a Chai 5 for that effort!
Macher (Big Shot) of the Day – Scott Feldman