Vintage Cardboard is happy to provide this article written by Dutch
The dictionary describes a winner as "one who is victorious in a contest"
well, yes. But when scanning the career of Dutch Ruether, that
definition doesn't really cut the mustard.
As we have come to know the term "winner" nowadays, it might better
describe a quality within a person that causes him to consistently rise
to the top, and to bring out the best in those around him. A winner
always seems to find himself in the thick of contention, always battling
for top honors in the field. One might say that Dutch Ruether's
appearance on four pennant winning teams, in three different cities
during his 11 years of major league service might be the result of
"being in the right place at the right time." The fact that he was one
heck of a pitcher, accustomed to winning, made him a valuable
acquisition for a team in the hunt for the victory laurels.
Born in Alameda, California in 1893, it was as a hurler for St. Ignatius
College that he first came to the attention of a big league manager. The
school had an exhibition game against the White Sox on March 13th, 1913.
It was a cold windy day in San Francisco, and Dutch was on the mound.
The southpaw held on to a 2-1 lead until the ninth inning when Buck
Weaver reached the youngster for a three run homer and thus snatched the
game away with a 4-2 final score. Ruether had pitched a gem of a game
though, and Chicago manager Jimmy Callahan was much impressed.
As a result of favorable press in the bay area newspapers, offers began
to come in from several big league teams. He reported to the Hot
Springs, Arkansas training camp of the Pittsburg Pirates where he signed
a contract with them that stipulated he could opt for his release if
sent to the minors. As it turned out, that was exactly what happened. So
Ruether spent the next few years pitching in the Class B Northwestern
league. First for Vancouver in 1914 & 1915, and then helping the Spokane
Indians win a pennant in 1916.
His success on the coast led to his signing with the Chicago Cubs in
1917. Dutch Ruether made his big league debut in April of that year, and
beat the Pittsburg Pirates, striking out nine batters. Christy Mathewson
took interest in the youngster and Dutch's contract was purchased by the
At this point, his career was interrupted by World War I, and Dutch
reported to Camp Lewis for 1918. In 1919 returning full time to the
majors, Ruether went on to win 19 games for the Reds, losing only six.
The Reds won the pennant that year, and Dutch pitched the first game of
the 1919 world series beating Eddie Cicotte 9-1.
A fact lost in the annals of history, is that my grandfather also hit
two triples in that game. No pitcher has hit two triples in World Series
play since! Dutch went 16-12 the following yr. The Reds manager decided
to trade Ruether to the Dodgers for Hall of Famer Rube Marquard. Over
the next few years, Ruether cemented his status as a starting pitcher.
His record with Brooklyn reads 10-13, 21-12, 15-14, and 8-13.
Dutch suffered arm trouble in 1924. After a long, drawn out dispute with
Dodger owner Charles Ebbets, waivers were asked on him and his contract
was purchased by the Washington Senators for the 1925 campaign. Dutch
performed brilliantly that yr going 18-7 with a .333 batting average. He
went 12-6 in 1926 before having his contract purchased in August of that
year by the New York Yankees, finishing up with a 14-9 mark. He won two
crucial games for the Yankees and helped them to win the pennant in
1926. Ruether pitched in game three of the 1926 World Series, but lost
4-0 to Jesse Haines.
He finished his major league career going 13-6 for the legendary 1927
Yankees, and was roommates with Babe Ruth. Dutch went on to pitch in the
coast league until 1933, before becoming a manager for the Seattle
Indians. He was voted all-star manager his first year. He stayed with
them through the 1936 season, later becoming a scout for the Chicago
Cubs, and then the New York/San Francisco Giants. Among his acquisitions
were Peanuts Lowery, Joey Amalfitano, Mike McKormick, and Eddie Bressoud,
to name a few.
Dutch Ruether's career statistics read as follows, 11 yrs in the majors
with 137 wins and 95 losses, for a .591 winning percentage. In his
professional career including the coast league, he won 301 games and
suffered 185 defeats. With a lifetime batting average of .258, Dutch
ranks fifth all time for pinch hits by a pitcher. He holds the record
for the longest National League opener going 14 innings for the Dodgers
in 1923. A proven winner at every level.
Dutch Ruether III
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