All-Time Indians: Otto Hess

 

Name: Otto C. Hess       Position: Starting Pitcher    
Tribe Time: 1902,1904-1908         DOB: 10/10/1878      
Stats W L W% ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP K/9 BAA
Best Season (1906) 20 17 0.541 1.84 43 36 33 7 333.2 274 104 68 4 85 167 1.08 4.5 .215
Career 46 49 0.484 2.50 118 95 81 15 842.2 749 346 234 8 249 391 1.18 4.2 .229

Otto Hess was one of the early pitchers for the Cleveland Blues and Naps, pitching alongside Addie Joss, Earl Moore and Bob Rhoads for the original Cleveland teams. Like the others listed, Hess had an incredibly low career ERA, WHIP and BAA, but unlike the others, he was very inconsistant. His 1904 and 1906 seasons were two of the greatest years ever by an Indians pitcher (his 333 IP in 1906 ranks among the top ten all time), but he had a very below average year in 1905 and wasn't able to pitch 100 innings in his other three seasons.

In his career, the good seasons have outweighed the bad, mostly due to the incredible amount of innings thrown in those two great seasons. He remains among the top ten best Indians ever in ERA and innings per game (7.1). His great rate stats do show through, but his wildness is also apparent as he hit 51 batters in less than 1,000 innings pitched. He also ended his career losing more games than he won (each of the other three pitcher peers listed above had a career winning percent of above .545).

 Hess retired after the 1915 season after being released by the Boston Braves. He had originally been let go by Cleveland in 1908 and played in the minor leagues for a few years trying to make his way back to the pros. Hess is the only player in Major League Baseball history to be born in Switzerland. Otto Hess died in 1926 at the age of 47.

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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