Baseball History: Jack Warhop

Jack Warhop pitched for the New York Yankees/Highlanders from 1908-1915.

Jack Warhop pitched for the New York Yankees/Highlanders from 1908-1915.

There are two sides to every story.

It was May 6, 1915.

A veteran pitcher surrendered the first home run in a career of a rookie pitcher. Jack Warhop didn’t know it at the time, but he would end up on the wrong side of baseball history.

Warhop had pitched for the New York Yankees/Highlanders since 1908 and he was playing what turned out to be the final year of his career. He was 69-92 for a franchise that wasn’t that strong and had not become the dynasty that the talent and showmanship that Babe Ruth would eventually bring to the organization in the 1920s.

In 1910, Warhop had his best season for New York when he was 14-14 with a 3.00 ERA as he helped the team to second place in the American League at 88-63. They would soon lose 100 games in a season for the second time in Warhop’s tenure with the club.

Tough luck is perhaps the best way to describe Warhop’s 8-15 season in 1914. He had a career-best 2.37 ERA, but set a major league record that still stands today for losing five 1-0 decisions.

Babe Ruth hit his first major league homer off Jack Warhop on May, 6, 1915.

Babe Ruth hit his first major league homer off Jack Warhop on May 6, 1915.

Finishing his career with a 7-9 record in 1915, Warhop led the AL as he gave up eight long balls that year with the last one hit by Shoeless Joe Jackson. He gave up 28 home runs in his career to 22 different batters, several of whom became members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame like Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Sam Crawford and Home Run Baker.

But 100 years ago, Warhop gave up his most famous home run, which was the first one to a rookie left-handed pitcher from the Boston Red Sox named George.

Yep, that’s right, Babe Ruth, who hit 714 homers, was on his way to legendary status in the baseball world. To prove the homer wasn’t a fluke, Ruth got Warhop again for his second career blast on June 2. He added two more to total four during the season.

Ruth was a charter member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 after helping make the Yankees the most decorated sports franchise in history.

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