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Comeback Pitchers: The Remarkable Careers of Howard Ehmke and Jack Quinn

Co-authored with Lyle Spatz
Foreword by Pat Williams
Urban Shocker: Silent Hero of Baseball's Golden Age
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Pub. Date: April 1, 2021
University of Nebraska Press
Hardcover , 512pp
ISBN-13: 9781496222022


Steve's latest book, Comeback Pitchers: The Remarkable Careers of Howard Ehmke and Jack Quinn, co-authored with Lyle Spatz, has been published by the University of Nebraska Press. Ehmke and Quinn were two early 20th century pitchers (mainly the Teens and 1920s) who were repeatedly told they were “washed up.” They refused to give up and persevered to surprise the sports world with their exceptional performances. They were teammates on the 1929 world champion Philadelphia Athletics. This is an inspirational story that resonates far beyond baseball: two athletes who overcame great obstacles to achieve great success.

Steinberg and Spatz—meticulous researchers who spin a riveting yarn while getting their facts right—have pitched a perfect double-header with this dual biography of two of baseball’s least known but most fascinating characters. We will never again see the likes of John Picus Quinn and Howard Ehmke in the game.”—Norman L. Macht, author of the three-volume biography of Connie Mack
Overview

The careers of pitchers Jack Quinn and Howard Ehmke began in the Deadball Era and peaked in the 1920s. They were teammates for many years, with both the cellar-dwelling Boston Red Sox and later with the world champion Philadelphia Athletics, managed by Connie Mack.

As far back as 1912, when he was just twenty-nine, Quinn was told he was too old to play and on the downward side of his career. Because of his determination, work ethic, outlook on life, and physical conditioning, however, he continued to excel. In his midthirties, then his late thirties, and even into his forties, he overcame the naysayers. At age forty-six he became the oldest pitcher to start a World Series game. When Quinn finally retired in 1933 at fifty, the “Methuselah of the Mound” owned numerous longevity records, some of which he holds to this day.

As far back as 1912, when he was just twenty-nine, Quinn was told he was too old to play and on the downward side of his career. Because of his determination, work ethic, outlook on life, and physical conditioning, however, he continued to excel. In his midthirties, then his late thirties, and even into his forties, he overcame the naysayers. At age forty-six he became the oldest pitcher to start a World Series game. When Quinn finally retired in 1933 at fifty, the “Methuselah of the Mound” owned numerous longevity records, some of which he holds to this day.

Comeback Pitchers is the inspirational story of these two great pitchers with intertwining careers who were repeatedly considered washed up and too old but kept defying the odds and thrilling fans long after most pitchers would have retired.