Joe Sullivan (pitcher)

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Joe Sullivan
Born: (1910-09-26)September 26, 1910
Mason City, Illinois
Died: April 8, 1985(1985-04-08) (aged 74)
Sequim, Washington
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 20, 1935 for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
September 23, 1941 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Win–loss record 30–37
Earned run average 4.01
Strikeouts 4
Career highlights and awards
  • Played for the 1935 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers

Joe Sullivan (September 26, 1910 – April 8, 1985), was a Major League pitcher who played five season in the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers (1935–1936), Boston Red Sox (1939–1940), Boston Braves (1941), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1941). In five major league seasons, Sullivan had a record of 30–37 with a 4.01 ERA. A knuckleball specialist, once pitched 12 straight innings of scoreless relief.

Born in Mason City, Illinois, his family moved west, where Sullivan graduated from Sliverdale (now Central Kitsap) High School in 1928. Sullivan was a three-sport player at Silverdale High. [1]

After high school, Sullivan played semi-pro ball for the Bremerton Cruisers of the Northwest League. In 1929, Sullivan played for New Westminster of the Vancouver City League. In 1930, Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Co. of Port Angeles took him to a 16-team state tournament where Sullivan signed with New York Yankees scout Bill Essick. [2] That season, he played with Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League. After being released, Sullivan went to Tucson to play in the Arizona State League.

The Detroit Tigers bought his contract in 1932 and sent him to Beaumont of the Texas League. Returning to play for Hollywood in 1934, a 25–11 season earned him his first shot in the bigs the following year. [3]

Sullivan broke into the major leagues in 1935 with a Detroit Tigers team that went on to win its first World Series Championship in Sullivan's rookie season. Sullivan started 12 games for the 1935 Tigers and a 3.51 ERA. Sullivan did not appear in the 1935 World Series.

In 1936, Sullivan's performance lagged, as his ERA jumped to 6.78 in 26 games (22 in relief). He finished the 1936 season 2–5 and did not pitch in the major leagues in 1937 or 1938.

In 1939, Sullivan was given a second chance by the Boston Braves. He played three seasons with the Braves, but never had a winning record. In June 1941, Sullivan was purchased from the Braves by the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he pitched in 16 games and finally had a winning record of 4–1. Despite having his first winning record with the Pirates, Sullivan never played another game in major league baseball.

After his 1941 season with Pittsburgh, Sullivan played for Portland of the Pacific Coast League. In 1943 he played for the Bremerton Cruisers and then pitched home games for the original Kitsap BlueJackets in 1946, then of the class-B Western International League. [4]

In 1945, he began a career with the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, where he eventually became fire chief and worked until 1970.[5]

Sullivan died April 8, 1985 in Sequim, Washington, after a long bout with cancer. [6]

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