Photo credit: National Baseball Hall of Fame Library

Hal Newhouser

Harold Newhouser
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2015
Connection to Michigan: Detroit Tigers
Primary position: Pitcher

Born and raised in Detroit, Hal Newhouser attended Wilbur Wright trade school while dominating American Legion play. At age 17, he signed on with his hometown Detroit Tigers just before a Cleveland Indians scout could pull up with a car and a far larger offer.

Kept out of the service by a heart murmur, “Prince Hal” became one of the dominant pitchers of his era. Newhouser was a six-time All-Star, from 1942-1944 and 1946-1948. He won back-to-back American League Most Valuable Player awards in 1944 and 1945, going 29-9 with a 2.22 ERA and 25-9 with a 1.81 ERA. He still remains the only pitcher to win consecutive MVP awards. A 26-9 record with a 1.94 ERA in 1946 nearly brought Newhouser a third consecutive MVP award, but he finished second in the voting to the great Ted Williams. Two years later, he led the American League in wins for a fourth and final time, posting a 21-12 record.

In total, the fiery left-hander won 207 games with a 3.06 ERA in 17 Major League seasons, pitching for the Tigers from 1939-1953 before joining the Indians for 1954 and 1955. He worked as an amateur scout for the next four decades, combing Michigan for young talent into the early 1990s and discovering future Major League hurlers Milt Pappas and Dean Chance.

Newhouser was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, the first Detroit-born Tiger to be enshrined in Cooperstown. His number 16 was retired by the Tigers on July 27, 1997.

Copyright © 2018. Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame.