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Willis Hudlin

George Willis Hudlin
Nickname: Ace
Born: May 23, 1906 in Wagoner, Ohio 
Died: Aug. 5, 2002 in Little Rock, Arkansas
Debut: 1926 | Pos: P
Ht: 6' | Wt: 190 | B: R | T: R

16 491 2613.1 158 156 31 677 4.41

>> Visit the Willis Hudlin biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.

Willis Hudlin spent 16 seasons in the Major Leagues -- 14 of those with the Cleveland Indians -- and he surrendered Babe Ruth's 500th Career Home run. He died August 5, 2002.

On Aug. 11, 1929, in a game at Cleveland's League Park, Ruth hit his 30th home run of the season off Hudlin. He also served up Lou Gehrig's 29th home run of the season but managed to win the game 6-5.

Ruth wanted the historic ball abd asked the police to track down the young man who caught it. Ruth traded an autographed baseball and $20 to get it back.

In his career, Hudlin pitched to a 158-161 record (157-151 with the Indians). He pitched 154 complete games. In 1927, his first full season, he was 18-12 with a 4.01 ERA. He won 17 games in 1929.

In 1940, he became one of eight players since 1900 to play for 4 teams in a season -- Cleveland, Washington, St. Louis Browns and the New York Giants.

He ranks third all-time for the Indians with 475 games pitched. He ranks 4th with 2557.2 innings pitched. In 2001, he was named one of Cleveland's all-time top 100 players.

He served as a flight instructor in World War II and returned to baseball as a manager for a minor league team. 

He was Detroit's pitching coach from 1957 to 1959 and a scout for the New York Yankees from 1960 to 1974.