Oral Hildebrand

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Oral Hildebrand
Oral Hildebrand.jpg
Born: (1907-04-07)April 7, 1907
Indianapolis, Indiana
Died: September 8, 1977(1977-09-08) (aged 70)
Southport, Indiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 8, 1931, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
July 28, 1940, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record83–78
Earned run average4.35
Career highlights and awards

Oral Clyde Hildebrand (April 7, 1907 – September 8, 1977) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1931 to 1940. He played for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, and New York Yankees.

Early life[edit]

Hildebrand was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Butler University and was the starting center for the basketball team.[1] He led Butler to the 1929 national collegiate championship,[2] was the captain of the 1930 squad,[3] and is in the Butler Hall of Fame.[4]

Baseball career[edit]

Hildebrand started his professional baseball career in 1930 with the American Association's Indianapolis Indians. In two seasons, he went just 14–18[5] but made it to the major leagues in late 1931.

Hildebrand broke into the Cleveland Indians' starting rotation in 1933. That season, he went 16–11, led the American League in shutouts with six, and was selected to the All-Star team.[6] He pitched a one-hitter on April 26.[7] From 1934 to 1936, he continued to pitch effectively for the Indians, going 30–28 in those years. Hildebrand also had several public disputes with manager Walter Johnson, which ended when Johnson was fired in 1935.[8]

In 1937, Hildebrand was traded to the Browns in a blockbuster deal. He struggled in two seasons with St. Louis and was then traded again, to the Yankees. In 1939, he went 10–4 with a career-low 3.06 earned run average, helping the Yankees win the AL pennant. He started game 4 of the World Series and pitched four shutout innings, as the Yankees clinched the title.[6]

Hildebrand went back to the minor leagues in 1941[5] and retired the following year.

Later life[edit]

After his baseball career was over, Hildebrand became a tool and die maker for the Link-Belt Division of FMC Corporation. He retired in 1972.[9]

Hildebrand died on September 7, 1977, at the age of 70. He was survived by his wife Frances and five children[1] and was buried in the Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Oral Hildebrand's Obit". thedeadballera.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  2. ^ Bodenhamer, David J. and Barrows, Robert Graham. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (Indiana University Press, 1994), p. 305.
  3. ^ "Player Bio: Oral Hildebrand". butlersports.cstv.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  4. ^ "Butler To Induct Seven Individuals, Two Teams Into Hall of Fame" Archived 2010-10-30 at the Wayback Machine. butlersports.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  5. ^ a b "Oral Hildebrand Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  6. ^ a b "Oral Hildebrand Statistics and History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  7. ^ Schneider, Russell. The Cleveland Indians Encyclopedia (Sports Publishing LLC, 2004), p. 190.
  8. ^ Schneider, p. 325.
  9. ^ "Saint Paul Saints History 1940–1960". usfamily.net. Retrieved 2010-10-26.

External links[edit]