Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 7/1/12
Ewell Blackwells work record for the eight years he was employed as a pitcher by the Cincinnati Reds was not the stuff to catch the eyes of historians.He was only two games over .500, 79 up and 77 down. But his earned run average was 3.32 and opposing batters who had to face his sidearm delivery that earned him the nickname, The Whip, knew that the 6-foot-6, 195-pound California was no leisurely day next to the swimming pool.During his time with the Reds, they never finished above .500, usually losing between 80 and 90 games.But Blackwell proved his abilities in his All-Star game appearances. Managers named him to six straight All-Star games from 1946 through 1951 and he didnt disappoint.It all began in 1946, the first game after World War II and it turned into a personal celebration for Ted Williams in his home Fenway Park. Williams went 4 for 4 and drove in five runs, including a home run off an ephusbloop pitch by Rip Sewell.The American won, 12-0, and Blackwell gave up two runs and three hits during his 2 23 innings. Those would be the last runs he ever gave up in an All-Star game.In 1947, Blackwell went 22-8, the onloy time he won more than 17 games during his career, and he was named to start the All-Star game in Wrigley Field.Blackwell and American League starter Hal Newhouse matched zeros for three innings, both giving up no runs and one hit. Blackwell walked none and struck out four.But the Nationals eventually won the game, 2-1, on a pinch-hit single by Stan Spencer off Johnny Sain in the seventh inning.The Americans made it three in a row in 1948 at Sportsmans Park in St. Louis and Stan Musial was the hometown hero with two hits and two RBI in a 5-2 victory. No damage was done by Blackwell, though. He finished the game, pitching the last three innings and giving up no runs and three hits. But his teammates could score nothing in their last three innings, either.The 1949 All-Star game was extremely special it was played at Brooklyns Ebbets Field and for the first time African Americans participated. There were three Dodgers (Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe) and the American League had Clevelands Larry Doby.The Americans won again, 11-7, but they didnt do it against Blackwell, who pitched a perfect eighth inning and struck out two. Joe DiMaggio hadnt played a game due to a sore heel until June 28, a couple of weeks before the All-Star game, but Americans manager Lou Boudreau added him to the roster and he contributed two hits and three RBI.The Nationals finally broke through with a victory in 1950 in Chicagos Comiskey Park, but it took them 14 innings and the winning pitcher was Ewell Blackwell. He pitched the final three innings and faced only 10 hitters, giving up one hit while striking out two.Red Schoendienst, who didnt enter the game until the 11th inning as a replacement for Jackie Robinson at second base, hit a home run over the left field wall in the 14th to give the Nationals a 4-3 win.The Nationals made it two in a row in 1951 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, an easy 8-3 win because they received home runs from Stan Musial, Bob Eliot, Gil Hodges and Ralph Kiner.Blackwell? He cleaned it all up in the ninth inning, giving up no runs and one hit a walk and striking out one.Blackwell was 3-12 with a 5.30 ERA in 1952 when the Reds traded him to the New York Yankees. He appeared in only 13 games the next year-and-a-half, then appeared in two games for the Kansas City Royals in 1953 and retired.
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