George Uhle was nicknamed "Bull" during his seventeen-year major-league career, and for good reason. While with Cleveland he led the American League in wins with twenty-six in 1923 and twenty-seven in 1926 and twice led in innings pitched. He also was a superlative hitter. His fifty-two base hits in 1923 and .288 career batting average are major-league records for pitchers. Despite chronic arm problems, Uhle continued to perform yeoman's duty as a starter, reliever, and pinch hitter during his five-season stint in Detroit.
After leaving baseball as a scout in 1942, Uhle became a manufacturer's representative for the Arrow Aluminum Casting Company.
George Uhle died February 26, 1985, in Lakewood, Ohio.
GEORGE UHLE: I hurt my arm through too much work. I remember one season in particular, 1926, when I won quite a few ball games for Cleveland. We played Philadelphia on a Saturday, the last game of the season. The winner would finish second. My arm was tired. After the first couple of innings, they got five runs off of me. I said to Tris Speaker, who was managing and playing center field then, "Spoke, I can't make it any further. I can't raise my arm above my belt."
George Burns and he were having a smoke down in the runway alongside the dugout, and they both said, "We'll win or lose second place with you, bad arm and all." In those days, second place was worth about thirteen hundred dollars, I think. Pretty good money back then.
So I pitched underhanded the rest of the ball game, and we beat 'em, 6-5. They didn't get a run off of me the rest of the way, and that was that good Philadelphia ball club, with Jimmie Foxx and Al Simmons and those fellows.
I used to pitch a lot of innings. When I was going good, why, if possible, if we were going to play a four-game series in New York, Speaker would have me miss Boston to open and close against New York. Boston was always near last place then. Instead of an easy outing, I had to work like the dickens all nine innings against that good-hitting Yankee ball club. So I got my share of work and complete games that way, I'll say that.
I was with Cleveland from 1919 through 1928. During the winter of '29, Detroit traded Jackie Tavener, the shortstop, and Ken Holloway, a pitcher, for me. Cleveland liked Tavener because he hit so well against them. But Cleveland didn't have the book on Jackie. After I got over to Detroit, why, Harry Heilmann told me, "Just pitch high fastballs to Jackie. That's all you have to do." And that stopped his hitting cold.
From Cobb Would Have Caught It by Richard Bak.
Copyright © 1991 by Wayne State University Press. Reprinted with permission.