Hall of Fame Inductee - Fritz Ostermueller
A left-handed pitcher from Quincy who spent 15 seasons in the major leagues, Fritz Ostermueller didn’t possess an overpowering fastball. But he was crafty, using his curveball and changeup to befuddle left-handed hitters.
The Cardinals’ Stan Musial, a lifetime .331 hitter and Hall of Famer, batted just .212 against Ostermueller.
“I had some pitchers who, no matter what I did, I could hit,” Musial told the Post-Dispatch in a 1985 interview. “There were others who gave me fits. ... There was a pitcher for the Pirates like that, a guy named Ostermueller. For some reason, he just gave me fits.”
Musial wasn’t alone. Ostermueller gave plenty of left-handers fits. Ultimately, that lead to a lengthy, productive career — the longest professional playing career of any Quincyan.
Ostermueller won 13 games twice — once for Boston and once for Pittsburgh — and won 10 or more games seven times. He finished with a career record of 114-115 and an earned run average of 3.99.
But he’s best known for being tough on the lefties.
“Musial was the toughest man in baseball this season to pitch to and he was certainly poison to a right-hand pitcher. To a southpaw pitcher, he wasn’t so tough and I do not think he troubled me too much,” Ostermueller said at a 1948 Quincy Exchange Club luncheon.
Ostermueller began his career playing for St. John in the Quincy Parish League and joined the Quincy Three-I club — his first professional team — in 1926.
It would take eight years and seven stops in the minor leagues at places like Wheeling, W.Va., and Topeka, Kan., before Ostermueller would catch a break.
In 1932, he bounced between Rochester, Minn., of the Northern League and Greensboro, N.C., of the Piedmont League. He eventually settled in with Rochester in 1933 and earned his shot at a big league roster with a 14-3 mark that year.
Finally, on April 21, 1934, all the time he toiled in the minors paid off as made his major league debut for the Boston Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers.
After his career ended in 1948, Ostermueller returned to Quincy and opened the Diamond Motel with his wife, Faye. He died in 1957.
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