Ed Rommel

The father of the modern knuckleball, Rommel used it to win 19 games as a starter and another 8 in relief for the 1922 Athletics to lead the AL with 27 wins. He led the league in victories again in 1925 with a 21-10 mark for the A’s. He led the AL in relief wins in three different seasons. When the Athletics scored 10 runs in the seventh inning of Game Four of the 1929 WS to overcome an 8-0 Cubs lead, Rommel got the win in relief. In his final season on July 10, 1932, the Athletics defeated the Indians 18-17 in an 18-inning marathon. Rommel pitched 17 innings of relief and earned the win despite giving up 29 hits, 8 walks, and 14 runs. He served 22 years as an AL umpire. One of his more unusual calls came in a 1957 game. Boston had Dick Gernert on third with one out and Gene Mauch at bat. Mauch grounded to the first baseman who stepped on first and threw home. Mauch threw up his hands and deflected the ball. Rommel declared both Mauch and Gernert out for Mauch’s interference.