All-Time Indians: Bill Bernhard

 

Name: William Henry Bernhard     Position: Starting Pitcher    
Nick Name: Strawberry Bill                    
Tribe Time: 1902-1907           DOB: 03/16/1871      
Stats W L W% ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP K/9 BAA
Best Season (1904) 23 13 0.639 2.14 38 37 35 4 320.2 323 107 76 3 55 137 1.18 3.9 .252
Career 77 55 0.583 2.45 146 133 118 12 1,175.0 1,121 471 320 14 202 414 1.13 3.2 .241

Bill Bernhard joined the Cleveland Blues in 1902 (after being released by the Philadelphia Athletics) and immediately became the third of Cleveland's three aces alongside Earl Moore and Addie Joss. The trio stayed on top of the league from 1902 through 1904. During that span none of the three pitchers ever held a season ERA over 3.00 or a WHIP over 1.20 (except for Earl Moore in 1902), the best WHIP of the time being Bernhard's 0.94 in 1902 which still ranks in the top ten all time. Each pitcher also won at least 12 games every year during that time.

In 1905 Bernhard fell off after throwing the best season of his career. His ERA ballooned to near 5.00 and he lost more games than he won for the first time with Cleveland (every year prior he had won at least ten more games than he lost). In 1906 Bernhard returned to form one last time, posting a 16-15 record and an ERA of 2.54. During his swan song season, he threw 255 innings, dropping his BAA (.235) and WHIP (1.11) back to respectable dead ball era levels.

In his career, Bernhard ranks in the top five Indians ever in ERA an is ranked among the top Cleveland starting pitchers of all time. He left the Naps in 1907 after pitching just 42 innings and bounced around the minor leagues for a few seasons before leaving baseball altogether. Bill Bernhard died in 1949 at the age of 78.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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