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George Pipgras
Born: December 20, 1899(1899-12-20)
Ida Grove, Iowa
Died: October 19, 1986 (aged 86)
Gainesville, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
June 9, 1923 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
June 2, 1935 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Pitching record     102-73
Earned run average     4.09
Strikeouts     714
Career highlights and awards
  • World Series champion: 1927, 1928, 1932
  • American League wins champion: 1928
  • Led AL in Wins (24), Innings (300 ⅔), Games Started (38) and Batters Faced (1,352) in 1928
  • Led AL in Shutouts (3) in 1930

George William Pipgras (December 20, 1899 - October 19, 1986) was an American right-handed starting pitcher and umpire in Major League Baseball. He spent most of his playing career with the New York Yankees, breaking in as a rookie with the legendary 1927 team and leading the American League in wins for the following year's repeat champions. After ending his 11-year career with the Boston Red Sox, he became an AL umpire from 1938 to 1946. His younger brother Ed pitched briefly for the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Pipgras was born in Ida Grove, Iowa, and served in World War I with the 25th Army Engineers. He started his major league career with the Yankees in the 1923 season after being acquired from the Red Sox, making 17 appearances in his first two years. After returning to the minor leagues for two more years, he earned a place in the starting rotation in 1927, posting a 10-3 record for the team still considered by many to be the greatest ever, and winning Game 2 of the 1927 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1928 he led AL pitchers in wins with a 24-13 record, and also in games started (38) and innings pitched (300-2/3), while finishing second in strikeouts (139); he followed up with another Game 2 victory in the 1928 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals as New York swept the NL champions for the second straight year. He was 18-12 as the Yankees slipped to second place in 1929, and 15-15 in 1930 with an AL-leading 3 shutouts. After a 7-6 season in 1931, he bounced back with a 16-7 mark for the 1932 AL champions, and again won his World Series start in Game 3 as the Yankees swept the Chicago Cubs. In that game, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig each hit a pair of home runs, including Ruth's renowned "Called Shot." In May 1933, Pipgras' contract was sold back to the Red Sox, and he was 9-8 for the team that year before making a handful of appearances in 1934 and 1935. In an eleven-season career, he posted a 102-73 record with 714 strikeouts and a 4.09 earned run average in 1488-1/3 innings.

In 1938 Pipgras joined the American League umpiring staff. On Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 1939, Pipgras worked as the third base umpire during a Red Sox-Yankees contest. The historic box score included the names of future Hall of Famers Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Red Ruffing, and prize rookie Ted Williams as well. Pipgras was the starting pitcher for the Yankees in 1929's Opening Day, and his opponent for the Red Sox that day was Ruffing. According to historians, the unusual feat set by Pipgras is a case unique in major league history. He went on to umpire in the 1944 World Series, as well as the 1940 All-Star Game; he was the home plate umpire for Dick Fowler's no-hitter on September 9, 1945. He also worked as a scout for the Red Sox.

Pipgras died in Gainesville, Florida at the age of 86.


  • Ty Cobb, who finished his 23-year career with a .367 batting average, managed a paltry .182 against Pipgras, earning only two hits in 11 at bats against him.

See also

External links

Preceded by
Waite Hoyt & Ted Lyons
American League Wins Champion
(with Lefty Grove)
Succeeded by
George Earnshaw


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