Herbert Jefferis Pennock (February 10, 1894 - January 30, 1948) was a left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher best known for his time spent with the star-studded New York Yankee teams of the mid-to-late-1920s and early 1930s. Pennock won three World Series championships with the Yankees.
Born in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Pennock went straight from high school to the major leagues by joining the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912. In 1914, Pennock showed promise, going 11-4 with a 2.79 ERA in just 151 2/3 innings pitched for the World Series-bound Athletics (they lost to the Boston Braves), but he started poorly the following year and was sold to the Boston Red Sox by Philadelphia manager Connie Mack.
Pennock's break-out year came in 1919, a year after not seeing any major league action, when he went 16-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 219 innings pitched. It was the first time he topped 200 innings in a season, but that would be the trend over the decade. After a dismal 1922 campaign in which he went 10-17, Pennock was traded to the New York Yankees. In New York, he had some of his finest seasons. In 1924, he went 21-9 with a 2.83 ERA while striking out a career-high 101 batters. In 1926 he posted a career-high 23 wins, and won 19 games for the famous 1927 New York Yankees.
In 1929, Pennock saw his pitching time and pitching quality diminish. Over the rest of his career, never posted more than 189 innings pitched and didn't see his ERA drop below 4.00. Pennock eventually bowed out of the game in 1934, after a season spent largely in relief for the Red Sox. He finished with 240 wins, 162 losses and a 3.60 ERA.
Pennock appeared in five World Series, one with Philadelphia and four with New York, amassed a 5-0 career postseason record with two saves, and was a part of three World Series championships (1923, 1927 and 1932).
After retiring, Pennock became a coach and farm system director of the Red Sox, then, from 1944–48, the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Pennock helped build up the Phillies farm system which supplied many of the players for the 1950 Philadlphia Phillies NL Champions (The Whiz Kids. He died at age 53 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, just weeks before he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1948 along with Pie Traynor. Pennock and Rabbit Maranville (1954) both died while ballots were being cast for the Hall of Fame - in elections where they were considered leading candidates and where they were elected. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- baseballhalloffame.org – Hall of Fame biography page
- The Deadball Era
- Find a Grave profile
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