Plenty of talented ballplayers have called Saint Mary’s home, and in the course of going through the SMC history books lately, we’ve found a few stories that stand out as pretty interesting to the casual baseball fan.
One comes from the wayback machine. Did you know that Major League Baseball’s record for the lowest ERA by a left-hander in a single season is owned by one of our own? Dutch Leonard, who played at Saint Mary’s in the early 1900s (anywhere from 1910 to 1912, depending on which report you read), finished the 1914 season with a 0.96 ERA while a member of the Boston Red Sox. That mark still stands as the lowest-ever by a southpaw.
He was more than a one-season wonder. Leonard tossed two no-hitters (one in 1916 and one in 1918) and enjoyed a career that lasted from 1913-1925. He played for the Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers, with a stint in San Joaquin Valley League mixed in due to a contract dispute (yes, they happened back then too).
Leonard won three World Series rings with the Red Sox, teaming with fellow Saint Mary’s product Harry Hooper (a MLB Hall of Famer himself) and some guy named Babe Ruth to win in 1915, 1916 and 1918. Leonard would finish his career with a 2.76 ERA and a 139-113 record. The Red Sox wouldn’t win another World Series until 2004.