Herbert Jefferis Pennock (1894-1948) was a Hall of Fame pitcher for the dynastic 1920s New York Yankees. Considered one of the best left-handed pitchers in history, Pennock won 241 games on the mound, never lost in his five World Series starts, and came within four outs of pitching the first no-hitter in a World Series in 1927. More than just a great pitcher, Pennock was well-respected by teammates and locals alike. He was known as a principled, practical gentleman, with an intellect that matched his pitching skills and a humanity that bested both.
In Herb Pennock: Baseball's Faultless Pitcher, Keith Craig recounts Pennock's ascent from well-to-do Kennett Square to the heights of major league baseball. Signed by the Philadelphia A's legendary Connie Mack as an 18-year-old school boy, Pennock would flourish into a dependable pitcher for the New York Yankees. He was part of the iconic Murderer's Row team and played a crucial role in their World Series victories. For 22 seasons, Pennock's forte was control, not power; he studied each hitter, every at bat, and exploited all weaknesses. When Pennock's playing career came to an end, he used that same single-minded diligence as the General Manager of the woeful Philadelphia Phillies, where he reinvented the team through the careful development of its farm system that resulted in the 1950 pennant-winning Whiz Kids.
Including interviews with Pennock's family members and Kennett Square residents who personally knew the baseball legend, Herb Pennock: Baseball's Faultless Pitcher is the first biography to paint such a complete picture of Pennock and the times he lived in. Featuring original photographs provided by his family, this book delivers an invaluable look into the life of a great ballplayer, savvy front-office executive, and honorable man.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 233 x 158 x 30 mm
Craig's approach to writing this biography is much like the man he wrote about - methodical, purposeful and thoughtfully planned out. . . . Craig's biography of Pennock is balanced, and he addresses the good and the bad about the man. He did several interviews with members of Pennock's family and Kennett Square residents who knew the former baseball star. * The Sports Bookie: A sports blog by Bob D'Angelo *
A welcome addition to any fans library is this book. It is a subject and player that in the past has been overlooked so there is not that much information out there about him. It looks at Pennock's stellar career for the pre-dynasty New York Yankees and the contributions he made to the game. Pennock came within four outs of being the first Pitcher to throw a World Series No-Hitter. In interviews with family and remaining friends of Pennock, the author paints a vivid picture of a great player and a well liked man.... This book was truly a welcomed learning experience for me and would add to any fans arsenal of baseball player knowledge. * Gregg's Baseball Bookcase *
An excellent work by Keith Craig, informative and exhaustive in recalling Herb Pennock's outstanding contributions to baseball, both as a pitcher and a team executive. This book is particularly enlightening in clearing Pennock's name from the later controversies that tarnished it unfairly. -- Bob Ford, Philadelphia Inquirer
To some extent, Herb Pennock was overshadowed by the fellow Hall of Famers who surrounded him. Discovered and nurtured by Connie Mack, he would become the ace of a team where bats, not arms, were prized-the Murderers' Row Yankees of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Like the pitches he threw so well, his ultimate legacy can be difficult to decipher. Lauded as a gentleman throughout a 240-win career, Pennock was the Phillies GM when late-life charges of racism clouded his reputation and possibly shortened his life. In his readable and richly detailed new biography of the man, Herb Pennock: Baseball's Faultless Pitcher, author Keith Craig has cut through the fog surrounding those accusations and in the process reshaped our understanding of both the incident and the man. -- Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist