Pitcher [easyazon_link identifier=”0786475668″ locale=”US” tag=”famhist-20″]Lefty Grove[/easyazon_link] started in baseball in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in the Blue Ridge League and later joined the Baltimore Orioles. The price for the young hurler was a new center field fence for Martinsburg. Later, Grove was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics.
Grove had troubles in his first year in the big leagues, winning 10 and losing 12. By the following year, he improved his ERA from 4.75 to 2.51, and by 1927 he had his first 20-game winning season.
From 1929 to 1931 Grove ‘s record was 79-15, and the A’s won pennants every year as well as the two World Series. By the time Grove was sold to the Red Sox in 1933, he had won 20, 24, 20, 28, 31, 25, and 24 games in seven consecutive seasons. Grove was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947.
Grove had a legendary temper, venting on his own players and his manager, Connie Mack. In 1931, on his way to his 17th straight victory, a rookie outfielder misjudged a fly ball, leading to an unearned run and a loss for Grove. Later, the pitcher said “”After that game I went in and tore the clubhouse up. Wrecked the place. Tore those stall lockers off the wall.”
On August 3, 1933, the temperamental pitcher beat the New York Yankees 7-0. Until then, the Yankees had gone 308 games without being shut out.