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Bill Bernhard
Nickname(s): Strawberry Bill
1871-1949

RHP 1899-1907 Phillies, A's, Indians

IPW-LERA
Career 1792116-823.04

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Bill Bernhard was the first Cleveland pitcher to lead the American League in winning percentage, with a .783 mark (18-5) in 1902. Like Nap Lajoie, Bernhard was barred from playing in Philadelphia after jumping from the Phillies to the Athletics in 1901. He joined Cleveland after one game in 1902. In 1904, after being slowed by a broken finger in 1903, he again led his staff in winning percentage, going 23-13. Bernhard later had a long managerial career in the Southern Association. (ME)
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
» July 12, 1900: Frank "Noodles" Hahn of Cincinnati twirls a 4–0 no-hitter over Philadelphia. The Reds lefty gives up five walks to the visiting Quakers who are playing without Nap Lajoie. Hahn strikes out 7, including the first two batters in the 9th. The last batter, Roy Thomas, is thrown out on his two-strike bunt. Philadelphia's Bill Bernhard allows seven hits, including a homer by Sam Crawford in the 7th.

» February 8, 1901: News leaks out that Napoleon Lajoie, the Phillies star 2B and leading National League hitter, has jumped to the new Philadelphia American League club, along with pitchers Chick Fraser and Bill Bernhard.

» March 28, 1901: Phillies owner John Rogers files for an injunction prohibiting Nap Lajoie, Bill Bernhard, and Chick Fraser from playing for any other team—the most serious legal test of the reserve clause to date.

» May 2, 1901: Against the Philadelphia Athletics and their untested rookie pitcher Pete Loos, the visiting Boston Somersets score a pair in the first inning, explode for nine runs in the 2nd inning, then do better in the 3rd by scoring ten runs, a major-league record scoring spree of 19 runs for consecutive innings. The aptly named Loos walks the first four hitters in the 2nd, then exits after going 2-0 on the 5th batter. Vet Bill Bernhard relieves with little effect. The final score is 23-12, with a record nine players scoring two or more runs. The A's have four players scoring twice for 2-team ML-record 13, a mark not tied until the same two teams match it in 1950. For Pete Loos, it is his only major-league appearance. Parson Lewis is the winner.

» May 8, 1901: In their long-delayed AL home opener, Boston defeats Philadelphia's Bill Bernhard, 12-4, behind Cy Young, who has jumped from the St. Louis NL team. Boston is led by Buck Freeman, who has a single, triple and homer. Young complains that he does not like the rule against pitchers warming up but he will still lead the AL with his 1.62 ERA. His 33 wins are 41.8 percent of his team’s 79 victories, a post-1900 record, it will stand until Steve Carlton wins 45.8 percent of the Phils’ 59 wins in 1972. Young also complains about catchers. "I do not like the league rule compelling the catcher to stand behind the bat all the time. It handicaps a pitcher. I cannot extend myself as I would like."

» May 17, 1901: The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court rejects the Phillies’ suit against Nap Lajoie, Chick Fraser, and Bill Bernhard. The decision is appealed to the State Supreme Court, but the trio remains with the Athletics all season. Lajoie will hit .422, while Fraser wins 22 and Bernhard 17 for the 4th-place Athletics.

» April 21, 1902: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, reversing a lower court's decision, grants a permanent injunction (effective only in Pennsylvania) barring jumpers Nap Lajoie, Chick Fraser, and Bill Bernhard from playing for the A's, or any team but the Phillies. Not mentioned, but covered by the decision, are: Elmer Flick, Monte Cross, and Bill Duggleby of the A's; Ed Delahanty, Al Orth, Harry Wolverton, and Jack Townsend of Washington; Ed McFarland (White Stockings) and Red Donahue (Browns).