Harry Gumbert

From BR Bullpen

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Harry Edwards Gumbert

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Harry Gumbert had spent six years toiling in the minors from 1930 to 1935 when he was purchased by the New York Giants from the Baltimore Orioles of the International League on August 30, 1935. He brought with him an accumulated record of 83 wins and 63 losses with a 3.31 ERA. "Gunboat", as he was sometimes referred to, also brought with him a strong bloodline of pitching heritage, having two great-uncles who had pitched in the National League, Billy Gumbert who had pitched three seasons from 1890 to 1893 with a 7-8 record, and, the younger of the two, Ad Gumbert, who was also was in the National League from 1888-1896 and rang up a 123 win and 102 lost record.

"Gunboat", who was never sure of the origin of his nickname, believing that a sportswriter had tagged him with it because it sounded good with Gumbert, became a key addition to the New York Giants pitching staff of the late 1930s, going 11-3 in 1936 and winning 10 in 1937 for back-to-back pennant winners. The Giants lost both World Series and Harry didn't see much action in either, appearing in only four contests with no decisions, but giving up 12 in 3 1/3 innings.

He topped the staff with 15 victories in 1938 before winning a career-high 18 in 1939. One of the best fielding pitchers of his time, he set a National League record for assists in a game by a pitcher with 10 on May 23, 1938.

Harry was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1941 season and had an 11-5 record with a 2.74 ERA. He went 9-5 to help the Cardinals to the pennant in 1942. Again in the 1942 World Series which the Cardinals beat the New York Yankees, 4 games to 1, he appeared twice and had no decisions. In 1943 Harry went 10-5 and the Cardinals won the pennant again only this year in the World Series, things reversed and the Yankees won the series 4 games to 1 while "Gunboat" never threw a pitch. Harry's World Series chances were over and he ended that part of his career with six appearances, no decisions and a 27.00 ERA.

After being purchased by the Cincinnati Reds in June of 1944, Harry entered the United States Army late in World War II, serving from March of 1945 until he was discharged in November of the same year.

Late in his career he was used exclusively in relief by the Reds, leading the National League in appearances with 61 in and saves with 17 in 1948. "Gunboat" who pitched in one game for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1950 to complete his career, finished up at his 15-year major league run at 143-113, plus 48 saves and a 3.68 ERA.

After managing in the minor leagues in 1951 and 1952 with the Galveston White Caps of the class B Gulf Coast League, he settled in the Houston, TX area where he was an insurance salesman and later in electrical supplies sales. Gumbert died January 4, 1995, at age 85 in Wimberley, TX.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Games Pitched Leader (1948)
  • NL Saves Leader (1948)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1938 & 1939)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1937-1940 & 1944)
  • Won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942


Baseball Players of the 1950s