Charles Henry Root
(March 17, 1899 — November 5, 1970) was an American
in Major League Baseball
for the Chicago Cubs
for sixteen seasons from 1926 to 1941. He holds the club record for games, innings pitched, and career wins with 201.
Born in Middletown, Ohio
, Root began his career on April 18, 1923 with the St. Louis Browns
. On October 1, 1932, he threw the pitch that Babe Ruth
allegedly predicted he would hit into the seats in the 1932 World Series
at Wrigley Field
(see: Babe Ruth's Called Shot
). Root, however, said that Ruth hadn't pointed to the bleachers. Root said "If he pointed to the bleachers, I would have put one in his ear and knocked him on his ass".
His best season was in 1927, where despite a 3.76 ERA he won 26 games and lost 15. He had his best ERA in 1933 where he gained a career low 2.60 ERA but he did not win more than 15 games. He went to 4 World Series with the Cubs and lost all 4.
He died at age 71 in Hollister, California
. As quoted by Baseball Legends: The Charlie Root Story, by Joseph E. Bennett, Jan. 1995 Knight Templar magazine
"Root was one of the fiercest competitors the game ever knew... his cigar-chomping, no-nonsense visage was one of the most intimidating tools in his baseball arsenal."
According to his daughter Della, two days before his death he told her, "I gave my life to baseball, and I'll only be remembered for something that never happened."