Eisenstat, who was primarily a reliever for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland Indians, retired from baseball in 1942 after eight seasons because he felt it was his patriotic duty to retain his defense plant job. Eisenstat, who possessed a wonderful curveball, once pitched 13 consecutive scoreless innings in the Grape Fruit League.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. October 10, 1915 - d. March 21, 2003
A graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn, Eisenstat signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers immediately out of high school in 1933. He played in the Dodgers' farm system with Dayton and Allentown, where he was such a good hitter that he played first base and the outfield on days he did not pitch. In 1936, the Dodgers called him up in July, but Allentown refused to release the young pitcher as he won 19 games for them during the season. Instead, he returned to Brooklyn in September and appeared in five games.
After three seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, with whom he moved back and forth from the minors, Eisenstat joined Hank Greenberg on the Detroit Tigers in 1938. That season proved to be the best of his career as he had a record of 9-6 with a 3.73 ERA , and his .600 winning percentage was tenth in the American League. Harry appeared in 32 games, starting nine (five of them were complete games), and finishing sixth in the league with four saves (tops on the team). In October that season, Eisenstat faced the great Bob Feller in a memorable pitching duel. Feller set a Major League record with 18 strikeouts; but Harry had a no-hitter going into the 8th inning, and won the game, 4-1.
In the middle of the 1939 season, Eisenstat was traded to the Cleveland Indians (for Hall of Fame outfielder Earl Averill), with whom he played until 1942. In his final season, his ERA was a splendid 2.45.
Eisenstat pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1935-37, the Detroit Tigers, 1938-39, and the Cleveland Indians, 1939-42.
5'11", 185 pounds
Winning pct.: .481
Games Started: 33
Complete Games: 11
Innings Pitched: 478.2
Hits Allowed: 550
Strike Outs: 157
Home Runs: 0
Batting Average: .211
Double Plays: 5
Total Chances per Game: 0.7
Fielding avg: .974
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PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER IMAGES
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
Jewish Sports Review
New York Evening Post, March 6, 1937