Harry Feldman

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Harry Feldman
New York Giants – No. 14 and 18
Pitcher
Born: November 10, 1919
New York City
Died: March 16, 1962 (age 42)
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 10, 1941 for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
April 25, 1946 for the New York Giants
Career statistics
(through 1946)
Win-Loss 35-35
Earned run average 3.80
Strikeouts 254

Harry "Hank" Feldman (November 10, 1919, New York City – March 16, 1962, Fort Smith, Arkansas) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the New York Giants from 1941 to 1946. In 1962, at age 42, the 6' 0", 175 lb (79 kg). right-hander had a massive heart attack while tending his boat at Lake Tenkiller, Oklahoma, and died.

Early life[edit]

Feldman was Jewish, the son of a Romanian Jewish father and a Polish Jewish mother.[1]

Feldman attended Clark Junior High School in the Bronx. He pitched two no-hitters in high school. He took off from his job at a shirt factory, and went to try out for the New York Giants. After three days of not getting a glance, he went to manager Bill Terry and asked for an opportunity. The team was impressed enough to sign Feldman.

Minor league career[edit]

Feldman pitched for the Blytheville (Arkansas) Giants in 1938. He dominated the Northeast Arkansas League with a 13–1 record and 2.02 ERA, the best ERA and winning percentage in the league. He was promoted to the Fort Smith Giants of the Western Association, and went 7–7 with a 3.98 ERA his first season there. In 1939 he improved to 25–9, one win behind the league lead.

In 1940 Feldman was 5–13 with a 3.64 ERA for the Jersey City Giants, and in 1941 with the team he went 14–16 with a 3.42 ERA. In his two seasons in town, 18 of his 29 losses were by a single run.

Major league career[edit]

Feldman did the bulk of his pitching for the Giants during the World War II years (1942–45).

He won his first major league game in his second start, a 4–0 shutout over the Boston Braves in the second game of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds (September 21, 1941).

He was turned down by the Army due to evidence of his having had TB as a child.

Early in 1944 he decided to temporarily leave the team due to his wife's poor health and his mother's death. He returned and became a mainstay of the New York rotation for the next couple of seasons.

In 1944 he was 9th in the NL with 40 games pitched.

In 1945 he was 6th in the NL in games started (30) and shutouts (3), and 9th in innings (217.7) and batters faced (933). He was 12–13, with a 3.27 ERA.

His career totals include a 35–35 record, 143 games pitched, 78 starts, 22 complete games, 6 shutouts, 28 games finished, and 3 saves. In 666 innings pitched he struck out 254, walked 300, and had an earned run average of 3.80.

In 1946 he joined what became a total of 27 major league players, including Max Lanier, Mickey Owens, Vern Stephens and George Hausmann, in jumping to the "outlaw" Mexican League. Feldman signed with the Veracruz Blues, along with teammate and friend Ace Adams. The players who had jumped to the Mexican League had trouble getting back into organized baseball. The following year he played in Havana, Cuba. In 1949 he pitched for a while in the Provincial League for Sherbrooke, Quebec, and then moved to San Francisco where he pitched his last two seasons with the San Francisco Seals, going 6–9 with a 4.31 ERA in 1949 and 11–16 with a 4.38 ERA in 1950. He retired after that season at age 30.

Feldman was 8th lifetime in ERA of all Jewish major league pitchers through 2010, behind among others Sandy Koufax and Ken Holtzman.[2]

After baseball[edit]

  • After retiring, Feldman opened a record store in Fort Smith.
  • He was very active in the local semi-pro league and was a founder and official of the Church League for junior and senior high kids.
  • On March 16, 1962 he died of a massive heart attack while tending his boat at Lake Tenkiller in nearby Oklahoma. He is buried at Roselawn Cemetery, Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
  • The Hank Feldman Trophy is awarded annually to the best pitcher in the Church League.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burton A. Boxerman & Benita W. Boxerman (December 2006). Jews And Baseball: Volume I: Entering the American Mainstream, 1871–1948. McFarland & Company. p. 167. ISBN 0-7864-2828-7. 
  2. ^ "Career Pitching Leaders". Career Leaders. Jewish Major Leaguers. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]