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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Slim and Slimmer: 1923

Slim and Slimmer: 1923

April 28, 1923. Washington, D.C. "McGrew of Nationals, Harriss of Athletics." Two tall pitchers -- Washington's Slim McGrew goes up against Philadelphia's Slim Harriss. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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A year away from glory

The '23 Nats finished 75-78 under Donie Bush, still good enough for fourth place behind the juggernaut Yankees. Second baseman Bucky Harris would take over as player-manager the following season.

Fielding essentially the same starting lineup but with an improved bench, the Harris-led Nationals would win the 1924 AL pennant and go on to win the World Series in 7 games over the Giants - still the only baseball world championship in Washington to date.

"Slim" McGrew?

According to, Slim McGrew was 6'7" and 235. He couldn't have been that slim. It also says that Slim Harriss was 6'6". From the picture it would seem that Harriss was the taller man however.

Cheek to cheek

No dancing involved. Love the pic!

Tall Pitchers

This pic reminds me of the first of the very tall pitchers in the major leagues. Ewell Blackwell was 6 ft 6 and played for Cincinnati in the late 40's and early 50's. His best season was 1947 with 22 wins and only 7 losses. He came very close to pitching two consecutive no hitters once but Eddie Stankey broke it up in the ninth inning with a hit.

After commenting above paragraph I read in the paper where the AA Arkansas Traveler ball club has a pitcher that is 7 ft 1. Not only is he the tallest pitcher, but he is the tallest professional baseball player to ever play the game of baseball. His name is Loek Van Mil and he is signed with the Los Angeles Angels.

A Battle of the Mediocre

Neither pitcher was terribly successful. Harriss (born William Jennings Bryan Harriss) was 10-16 with a 4.00 ERA in 1923, 95-135/4.25 lifetime) and McGrew (born Walter Howard McGrew) was 0-0/12.60 in 1923 and 0-1/6.60 lifetime. Neither team was very good in 1923 (Philadelphia in particular was pretty bad) so that didn't help either pitcher's record. There are no results for a game on Saturday April 28, 1923, so the game must have been rained out. They played to a 10-10 tie on the 27th (12 innings) and Philly won 3-2 on the 29th. No word on when the tie might have been completed. Statistics courtesy of

See folks,

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SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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