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 James Robert Shawkey

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James Robert Shawkey

  • Birth 4 Dec 1890 Sigel, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 31 Dec 1980 Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, USA
  • Burial Unknown
  • Memorial ID 13620129

Major League Baseball Player. Bob Shawkey was a highly underrated all-purpose pitcher who spent 15 seasons in the Major Leagues. Originally property of the Philadelphia Athletics, he joined the parent club in 1913, showing streaks of brilliance early on as he finished with a 6-5 record. He did not appear in that years World Series, as Mack used his regular starters, Eddie Plank, Chief Bender and Bullet Joe Bush to take out the New York Giants in 5 games. The next season he broke through with a 16-8 season and a start in that Falls World Series against the "Miracle Braves." He lost his only start, going a solid 5 innings in game four, while only giving up 2 earned runs in the 3-1 loss. After the series was over, Mack began the task of dismantling the team. Shawkey was one of the lone holdovers on the A's pitching staff in 1915, but did not last long as the New York Yankees picked up his contract off waivers on June 28. An interesting sidebar to this transaction is the fact that every team in the American League passed on Shawkey before Yanks Manager Wild Bill Donovan put a claim in for him, for what the Washington Post called at the time "a good price for the slabbist." Even though he only pitched to a 4-7 record for the remainder of the season, his purchase would be one of the most prudent ones in franchise history. Shawkey would become a 4 time 20 game winner in New York, going a career best 24-16 in 1916. He joined the US Navy during World War 1, serving board the battleship Arkansas while gaining the rank of Yeoman Petty Officer. While in the Navy, he gained the two nicknames that he would become synonymous with during the remainder of his career, 'Sailor Bob' and 'Bob the Gob.' A gentle, relaxed, unassuming man on and off the field, he was adept at studying opposing batters and remembering their weaknesses, just like his teammate and friend, Herb Pennock. Always one of Manager Miller Huggins favorite players, he never gave his manager or management trouble. Huggins once said of him, "Bob is a model citizen, just like Pennock. I never have to worry about trouble from either one of them." His last big season came in 1924 with a 16-11 mark. His last season in the majors was as a member of the famed '27 Yankees Murderers Row team, although he did not appear in the World Series. He later coached with the Yanks and managed for a single season, 1930, guiding them to a third place finish with an 86-68 mark. He was replaced by Joe McCarthy in 1931, after which he managed and coached in the minor leagues, and was also the baseball coach at Dartmouth College. At the age of 85 he threw out the first ball at the refurbished Yankee Stadium. Over the course of his career he accrued a 196-150 record with 28 saves and a solid 3.09 ERA.

Bio by: Frank Russo

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Frank Russo
  • Added: 15 Mar 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13620129
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James Robert Shawkey (4 Dec 1890–31 Dec 1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13620129, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Unknown.