Ernie Bonham

Bonham was an important contributor to the 1941-43 Yankee pennants. The 6’2″ 215-lb hulk (“Tiny”) was the first successful pitcher to use the forkball, and had excellent control. He led the AL with a 1.90 ERA as a rookie in 1940. In 1942 his .808 winning percentage (21-5), six shutouts, and 22 complete games were the league’s best. Chronic back problems reduced his effectiveness his final five seasons, but he remained a tough competitor, winning his last six games. He died suddenly from appendicitis complications just two weeks after pitching his last game.