Joe Sullivan (sullijo05)

From BR Bullpen

130 pix

Joe Sullivan

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Knuckleballer Joe Sullivan pitched six years in the majors between 1935 and 1941. He was a starter in 55 of his 150 appearances.

Sullivan was born in Mason City, IL, in the center of the state of Illinois, north of Springfield, IL, although he grew up in the Pacific Northwest. At age 19 he was pitching with the Tucson Missions and then spent three seasons with the Beaumont Exporters. His minor league career ran 13 seasons, including multiple years with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Bremerton Bluejackets later in his career.

His rookie year in the majors was spent with the pennant-winning Detroit Tigers in 1935 under player-manager Mickey Cochrane. The team went 93-58 and won the 1935 World Series. Sullivan, one of the youngest players on the team (Hank Greenberg, Elden Auker and Hugh Shelley were also 24), went 6-6 and did not appear in the Series.

After a less-impressive 1936 season, he was back in the minors until purchased by the Boston Bees. He spent the bulk of his major league career with them, in 1939 and 1940 and part of 1941.

Casey Stengel was his manager all three years, and in all three years the Boston team finished well under .500. Sullivan's ERA was better than the team ERA in 1939 and much better in 1940. In 1941 it was a bit worse than the team ERA and he was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates in mid-season. With the Pirates, an above-.500 team, his ERA improved notably but nonetheless it was the end of his major league career.

Notable Achievement[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gregory H. Wolf: "Joe Sullivan", in Scott Ferkovich, ed.: Detroit the Unconquerable: the 1935 World Champion Tigers, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 136-140. ISBN 978-1-933599-78-6

Related Sites[edit]