June 24, 2012

HOVG Heroes: Howie Pollet


TOM KNUPPEL on HOWIE POLLET

Born Howard Joseph Pollet on June 26, 1921, he later became a left-handed pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.  Pollet had really good success in St. Louis, but had moderate success after his departure from the city.

His first professional baseball contract sent him to Houston to play in the Texas League for the Buffaloes in 1941.

It was the results he put up that season that caught the eye of the Major Leagues. He led the Texas League in strikeouts (151) and ERA (1.16) and won 20 of his 23 decisions.  His rookie season was a modest one with five wins and two losses, but that was what propelled him to a full-time spot in the rotation in 1943.

In 1943, he led the league with a 1.75 ERA and became an All-Star.

Three years later, after two years off for military service, he went 21-10 with a stellar 2.10 ERA. He struck out 107 in his 32 starts and completed 22 games for the Redbirds.

Pollet won 20 games and lost only 9 lost 1949.  Along with a 3.47 ERA, this was the pinnacle of his success.  He went on to win 14 the next season before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In Pittsburgh, he struggled and never had another season where he was over .500. From then on, Pollet was traded from team to team and became a journeyman pitcher before playing his final game on September 23, 1956.

Pollet’s 14-year career record is 131-116 losses with an ERA of 3.51. After a few years away from baseball, he came back to the Cardinals and served as their pitching coach from 1959 until 1964.
After the Cardinals won the World Series that year, Pollet returned to his adopted city of Houston for one season as their pitching coach.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Knuppel is a retired High School English teacher that taught grammar, writing, American Literature and Speech Communications for 34 years. He loves to do Book Reviews. Knuppel’s passion for professional sports always originated around the St. Louis Cardinals. He is the primary writer for his son’s website CardinalsGM and is a secondary writer for another son at SaintLouisSports.

Knuppel’s Twitter feed is @CardinalsGM and he can be found HERE on Facebook.




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