George Wiltse

Baseball

Enshrined: 1990

Born: September 7, 1879

Hamilton, NY

Died: January 21, 1959

George Wiltse pitched in the major leagues from 1904 to 1915 which included 10 seasons with the New York Giants. Wiltse's nickname, “Hooks”, did not come from his curveball but from the way he would reach out with his long right arm to snare line drives and high bounders coming back through the box.

The left-handed Wiltse, who also played first base, had a highlight-filled career as he helped the Giants win five National League pennants in 11 seasons. Wiltse pitched along side hall of famer Christy Mathewson and appeared in 367 games, winning 142, losing 90 with 29 shutouts in 2,112 innings.

On July 4, 1908, Wiltse became the first lefty in pro ball to fire a 10-inning no-hitter, a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He also was the only pitcher in baseball history to strike out seven batters in two successive innings (four batters struck out in one inning). He won 12 or more games in eight consecutive seasons and was a 20-game winner twice.

Career highlights:

1900: First professional game with the Syracuse Stars

1904-1914: Joined New York Giants. Wiltse had one of the best rookie campaigns in history, winning his first 13 games while going 13-3

1908: Only pitcher in baseball history to strike out seven batters in two successive innings (four batters struck out in one inning), On July 4, he became the first left-handed pitcher tossed a 10-inning no-hit game.

1911-1913: Pitched and played first base in the World Series; In 1913, made several sensational plays at first base to save Christy Mathewson's shutout of Philadelphia.

1915: Managed Jersey City of the International League, in June, pitched for Brooklyn in the Federal League.

1916-1919: Managed at Albany, Reading and Lafayette College.

1919-1924: Managed Buffalo of the International League.

1925: New York Yankees pitching coach

1934-1944: Deputy Assessor of the City of Syracuse.

1944: President of Syracuse Industrial Baseball League.

1952: Elected to the International League Baseball Hall of Fame.

2000: Inducted into the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame.

2006: Hamilton dedicated is baseball complex the "Hook Wiltse Field”

Other achievements: Made only 31 errors in 319 games with a fielding percentage of .956; Holds the major league record for most wins at the start of a career (12 wins)

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