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Urban Shocker

Urban Shocker was regarded by many as the best pitcher of his time. In fact, Babe Ruth said he was the best pitcher he faced. Other pitchers said that Urban was the best. Writers of the day, such as Damon Runyon, and others called Urban the best too. He started his career with the New York Yankees was traded to the St. Louis Browns and then several years later, the Yankees reacquired him. He was the one player of whom the Yankees said they made a mistake in trading. Over the course of his career he won 187 games. Yet, so few have ever heard of Urban Shocker. He played from 1916 through 1928 – and it was towards the end of the 1928 season in which Shocker succumbed to mitral valve failure, a condition he was able to hide from his teammates and his wife. He struggled with this condition for the last half of his career, and despite it, he was still baffling hitters with a variety of pitches. Steve Steinberg, author of “Urban Shocker, Silent Hero of Baseball’s Golden Age,” joins SFH to talk about Urban, how revolutionary parts of his game were, how dominant he was, and just who was Urban Shocker.

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