Mar 3, 2015

Three Time Giants World Series Pitcher: Jeff Tesreau (1912-1918)

Charles Monroe Tesreau was born on March 5th, 1888 in Ironton, Missouri. Tesreau was a six foot two right handed pitcher, who started out pitching for a mining company before getting into pro ball. The tough pitcher earned the name Jeff after a boxer named Jim Jeffries of the times. 

 He was first signed by the St. Louis Browns but had his contract purchased by the New York Giants. At the time the NY Times wrote: "Tesreau has curves which bend like barrel hoops and speed like lightning. He's just the kind of a strong man McGraw has been looking for." 

He joined the 1912 New York Giants NL pennant winning staff joining the likes of the Great Christy Mathewson (24 wins) & Rube Marquard (26 wins). He fit right into the Giants staff, winning 17 games (17-7) and leading the league in his rookie year in ERA; at 1.96. He also led the NL in hits per nine inning (6.5) & was third in winning % (.708%). He won the NL Pitching Award & came in 14th in the MVP voting as well. 


Post Season: He pitched in Game #1 of the 1912 World Series at the Polo Grounds, taking a 4-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox & Smoky Joe Wood. He was the loser in Game #4 as well, taking a tough 3-1 loss to Boston.

Game Two of that Series had ended in a tie, so the series went to an extra game. It was in Game #7 he earned his first Series win, pitching a two run complete game, tying up the Series at three games each. (Game #2 had ended in a tie.) He benefited from an eleven run Giants offense in that seventh game. 

 He returned to win 22 games (22-13) fourth most in the NL in 1913. On that incredible staff, he was third behind Mathewson (25 WINS) & Marquard (23 Wins). Tesreau led the league in starts (38), he posted a 2.17 ERA & stuck out 167 batters (2nd in the NL). His strike outs per nine innings ratio was the league's best at 5.33. The Giants repeated as NL Champions that year but lost the World Series to Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's. Tesreau was the Game #3 losing pitcher to Bullet Joe Bush 8-2. 


 In 1914 he won 26 games (26-10) coming in second in the league to Philadelphia's Pete Alexander. That season he actually topped the Giants staff beating out Christy Mathewson by two games. He once again leading the league in starts (41) as well as shut outs (8) & hits per nine innings (third straight year).

He posted a 2.37 ERA & struck out a career high 189 batters. In 1915 he won 19 games & began to fall off from there, although he did still pitch well. It was tough to match the fantastic numbers he put up in his first few seasons. 
 In 1917 the Giants won another pennant as Tesreau went 13-8 with a 3.09 ERA. That year they lost the World Series to the Chicago White Sox in six games. Teserau took the loss in Game #2.

In World Sries he play he was 1-3 with a 3,62 ERA in six games pitched. Tesreau left baseball after having a disagreement with Giants Manager John McGraw. 

In his seven year career he was 115-72 with nine saves & a 2.43 ERA. He struck out 880 batters while walking 572 in 1679 innings over 247 games. He tossed 27 shut outs & 123 complete games. 
 Retirement: Tesreau coached baseball at Dartmouth University for 27 years, from 1919 through 1946. There he held the school record for victories (348) until 2010.

His son played for him as did future major leaguer Red Rolfe. He coached against his old pitching rival Smokey Joe Wood who was the baseball coach at Yale University in those days as well. He was perused to return to pitching, by the Boston Braves but did come back to the big leagues. 

Passing: He passed away from complications due to a stroke while on a fishing trip in 1946 at Hanover, New Hampshire at age 58.

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