May 24, 1892|
|Died: July 28, 1986
Rohnert Park, California
|April 21, 1914, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 6, 1925, for the Brooklyn Robins|
|Earned run average||3.81|
Joseph Carl Oeschger (May 24, 1892 – July 28, 1986) was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball who played 12 seasons from 1914 to 1925. After starting his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Oeschger was traded to the New York Giants. He was soon traded to the Boston Braves, where he pitched his best seasons.
Oeschger is best known for holding the MLB record for the most innings pitched in a single game (26). In 1920, both Oeschger and Leon Cadore of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitched 26 innings for their respective teams in a game that was eventually called a tie due to darkness.
He played out the rest of his career for the New York Giants before retiring in San Francisco. Never appearing in a World Series over his career he had 83 wins and 116 defeats. In San Francisco he was a teacher for the San Francisco Board of Education for 27 years.
Oeschger was born in Chicago, one of six children of immigrants from Switzerland. In 1900 his family moved to Ferndale, California, where Joe's father bought 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land and established a dairy ranch. Joe and his three brothers all attended Ferndale High School, where they played baseball. After high school, Joe attended and played baseball at Saint Mary's College of California, graduating in 1914.
Major league career
Oeschger began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1914 season. He won four games, while losing eight and posting a 3.77 earned run average for the Phillies. He pitched in a handful of games for the 1915 and 1916 seasons, before becoming a full-time starter in 1917. That season he had 15 wins against 14 losses and a 2.75 earned run average. Oeschger then led the league in losses during the 1918 season with 18, but still had a good earned run average of 3.03. One of the few highlights of his season was his shutout against the Brooklyn Robins on April 22. He also was tied for the league lead in saves, with three. On May 27, 1919 Oeschger was traded from the Phillies to the New York Giants for Ed Sicking and George Smith. He only pitched in five games for the Giants before being included in a trade to Boston for Art Nehf.
On May 1, 1920 the Brooklyn Robins went to play the Boston Braves at Boston, in front of a crowd of 2,000 spectators. Leon Cadore was starting for the Dodgers. The game was held scoreless until the fifth inning, when Ernie Krueger scored on Ivy Olson run batted in single. The game was tied in the sixth when Walton Cruise tripled, then scored on Tony Boeckel single. The game was ruled as a tie after 26 innings because of darkness. Oescheger only gave up 9 hits the entire game, while Cadore allowed 15. If they had played one more inning the pitchers would have played the equivalent of three games.
For the rest of the 1920 season Oescheger won 15 games with a 3.46 earned run average.
On September 8, 1921, Oeschger struck out three batters on nine pitches in the fourth inning of an 8–6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Oeschger became the fourth National League pitcher and the fifth pitcher in Major League history to throw an immaculate inning. He had his only 20-win season that year, which finished third in the National League. He also had a lack of control, leading the league in walks with 97, and hit by pitches with 10.
Oeschger collapsed the next two seasons, having a combined total of 36 losses with only 11 wins, and an earned run average over 5.
On November 11, 1923, Oeschger with Billy Southworth was traded from Boston to the New York Giants for Dave Bancroft and Casey Stengel (New York Giants moved to San Francisco to become the San Francisco Giants in 1957). Over his career he had 83 wins and 116 defeats and he never appeared in a World Series.
- List of Major League Baseball annual saves leaders
- List of Major League Baseball pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches
- Green, John. "Joe Oeschger". SABR Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- Lynwood Carranco (1980), Joe Oeschger Remembers, Society for American Baseball Research – Research Journal Archive
- "Joe Oeschger". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- "ROBINS' SONG IS A DIRGE.; Phillies Again Send Them to Defeat, with Score 3 to 0.". New York Times. Associated Press. 1924-09-20. p. 14.
- Jerome Holtzman (November 2000). Marathon Games for Starting Hurlers Are Ancient History. Baseball Digest. pp. 78–80. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- "Brooklyn and Boston Battle for 26 innings". St. Petersburg Evening Independent. Associated Press. 1920-05-02. p. 5.
- "Dave Bancroft Named Leader of Braves". Schenectady Gazette. Associated Press. 1923-11-12. p. 16.
- Bob Duvall (July 1970). What Ever Became of Joe Oeschger. Baseball Digest. p. 77. Retrieved 2009-02-11.