September 2 – Happy Birthday Monte Pearson
The great Yankee Manager Joe McCarthy was not particularly fond of managing ballplayers born in the south. He felt too many of them played the game with too much emotion and were difficult to control. That’s one of the reasons he told Yankee GM Ed Barrow, to go ahead and trade a very good Yankee pitcher named Johnny Allen for two Cleveland Indian pitchers named Monte Pearson and Steve Sundra right before Christmas in 1935. Allen was born in North Carolina and he had a mean temper. Pity one of his infielders who made an error while he was on the mound because Allen would actually scream at the guy in front of a full stadium crowd.
Pearson, on the other hand, was born and raised in laid back California. He had been an 18-game winner for Cleveland in 1934 but when he slumped to 8-13 the following year Cleveland let him go. Pearson didn’t have a bad temper but he did have a strange tendency to miss starts because of an assortment of crazy illnesses. But he stayed well often enough to win 19 games during his first season in pinstripes. During his five seasons with New York the right-hander went 63-27, including a no-hitter in 1938. He also was a perfect 4-o in World Series as a Yankee, winning one game each in four straight Fall Classics, all of which ended with New York championships.
After he tore a shoulder ligament during the 1940 season, he was not the same pitcher and New York traded the then 32-year-old right-hander to the Reds. He retired after a bad 1941 season with Cincinnati and went back to California where he began a long career as a public official. That career ended badly when he was convicted of accepting a bribe and sentenced to eight months in jail.
Pearson shares his September 2nd birthday with this one-time Yankee who was nicknamed “Marvelous.”