Former Tigers pitcher John Glaiser had his career ERA improve by more than a run 48 years after his death

In 2007, nearly 50 years after his death, John Glaiser’s career ERA dropped from 6.35 to 4.91.

Glaiser was with the Tigers from April until the end of May in 1920 and pitched in eight games before being returned to the minors for the rest of the season. Although he pitched professionally until 1925, he never made it back to the majors.

In September of 1920, Norman Glaser appeared in one game for the Tigers. It was his only major-league appearance, and likely because the names were nearly identical, Glaiser inherited Glaser’s one-game stats, leaving Glaiser with nine games played and a 6.35 ERA.

In 2007, Bob Hole, a member of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) discovered the discrepancy. Glaser was added as a member of the 1920 Tigers along with his four earned runs allowed in two and one-third innings, and Glaiser had those stats taken away from his career log, leaving him with a 4.91 ERA.

Glaiser, just 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, pitched well in seven relief games for the Tigers, but he was hit hard in his only start. It came on May 14, 1920, against the Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. Glaiser gave up three runs in the first and three in the sixth (he was credited with just five innings as he did not retire a batter in the sixth) and did not factor in the decision as the Senators won 9-8.

However, Glaiser shined in a relief role with a 1.86 ERA and a 1.241 WHIP in nine and two-third innings. He picked up his only career save three days before his only start when he threw a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the Tigers’ 5-3 victory over the Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium.

It wasn’t good enough to stick around, and he was sold to Portland of the Class AA Pacific Coast League in early June. He pitched until 1925 but did not play in 1923-24.

Glasier, who served in the Army during World War I, worked for the Gulf Brewing Company for 20 years. He died on March 7, 1959, at age 64.

NORMAN GLASER: Glaser had pitched in just 27 professional games when he was called up by the Tigers and put into a game. Glaser pitched for Rocky Mount in the Class B Virginia League in 1920, and even though he was just 8-15, he had a 2.83 ERA, a 1.193 WHIP and 219 hits allowed in 223 innings.

On September 21, 1920, the 26-year-old right-hander from Cleveland relieved Tigers starter Allen Conkwright in the third inning against the Washington Senators at Navin Field in Detroit. The Senators already had scored two in the inning and had the bases loaded with one out and a 5-3 lead. Catcher Patsy Gharrity greeted Glaser with a run-scoring single to left, and pitcher Eric Erickson scored another with a sacrifice fly. Glaser got out of the inning with no more trouble.

However, Washington added another run in the fourth and three in the fifth off Glaser, including a two-run homer by Erickson, who pitched for the Tigers in 1916, 1918 and 1919. Glaser left with two out in the fourth inning.

It was Glaser’s only game in the majors, and he returned to the minors and remained there through the end of the decade. He totaled 10 years in the minors and was 100-96 in 298 games.

On May 27, 1979, Glaser died at age 84 in Parma, Ohio, not far from his birthplace of Cleveland.

 

 

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