July 5 – Happy Birthday Bump Hadley

The Washington Senators would become perennial last place finishers in the American League by the 1950s, but in the roaring twenties, they seemed at the early stages of developing a dynasty. Under kid manager, Bucky Harris, they had won the 1924 World Series and just got nipped from winning their second straight Fall Classic, by the Pirates in 1925. That Senator team had a solid pitching staff led by two aging right-handers, Walter Johnson and Stan Coveleski, who would both end up in Cooperstown. But after falling to fourth place in ’26, the Senators knew they needed to get younger arms into their rotation and today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant became one of them.

His real name was Irving Darius Hadley, but everyone called him “Bump,” after a popular storybook character from that era named Bumpus. Hadley was born in Lynn, MA on July 5, 1904 and attended Brown University. He would go 14-6 during his rookie season with the Senators but Washington’s 89 victories that year would leave them in third place behind both the Yankees and the Philadelphia A’s. Those two teams would pretty much dominate the junior circuit for the next 15 seasons while the Senators would not make it back to a World Series until 1965, when they were known as the Minnesota Twins. Hadley would pitch for Washington until 1932, when he was traded to the White Sox, who quickly traded him to the Browns. He would then lose 20 games in both the 1932 and ’33 seasons for St Louis and find himself back with the Senators, by 1935. That’s when fortune shined upon him.

The Yankees were on the prowl for more starting pitching and they made a deal with the Senators that put Hadley in pinstripes. He went 14-4 during his first season in New York for Manager Joe McCarthy’s 1936 Pennant-winners and then pitched the game of his career, winning a classic 2-1 pitcher’s duel against Freddie Fitzsimmons of the New York Giants in Game 3 of the ’36 Series. Hadley would go 13-7 for New York in 1937, but during that season, he would also throw a “brushback” pitch that ended the playing career of the great Mickey Cochrane and almost killed the Tiger player-manager.

Hadley remained in pinstripes until 1940 and won four rings during his stay in New York. Though he was overshadowed by Hall-of-Famers, Red Ruffing, and Lefty Gomez on that great Yankee pitching staff, Hadley played a significant role in that team’s success, going 46-26 in the four World champion seasons and 2-1 in those postseasons. After falling to 3-5 in 1940, the Yankees sold Hadley to the New York Giants. The 1941 season would be his last in the majors. He later became a pioneer and very popular television broadcaster for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Braves. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1963, at the age of 58. His overall big league record was 161-165.

Hadley shares his July 5th birthday with this former Yankee outfielder, this one time Yankee pitcher & pitching coach and this Hall-of-Fame closer.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1936 NYY 14 4 .778 4.35 31 17 8 8 1 1 173.2 194 97 84 12 89 74 1.630
1937 NYY 11 8 .579 5.30 29 25 3 6 0 0 178.1 199 122 105 16 83 70 1.581
1938 NYY 9 8 .529 3.60 29 17 5 8 1 1 167.1 165 79 67 13 66 61 1.380
1939 NYY 12 6 .667 2.98 26 18 6 7 1 2 154.0 132 62 51 10 85 65 1.409
1940 NYY 3 5 .375 5.74 25 2 9 0 0 2 80.0 88 62 51 4 52 39 1.750
16 Yrs 161 165 .494 4.24 528 355 108 135 14 25 2945.2 2980 1609 1389 167 1442 1318 1.501
WSH (7 yrs) 68 71 .489 3.98 233 162 45 66 6 10 1299.0 1270 668 575 44 572 601 1.418
NYY (5 yrs) 49 31 .613 4.28 140 79 31 29 3 6 753.1 778 422 358 55 375 309 1.531
SLB (3 yrs) 38 56 .404 4.53 124 101 18 38 5 5 759.1 765 432 382 52 431 360 1.575
NYG (1 yr) 1 0 1.000 6.23 3 2 1 0 0 0 13.0 19 10 9 1 9 4 2.154
PHA (1 yr) 4 6 .400 5.01 25 9 12 1 0 3 102.1 131 69 57 13 47 31 1.739
CHW (1 yr) 1 1 .500 3.86 3 2 1 1 0 1 18.2 17 8 8 2 8 13 1.339
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/5/2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: