Major League Past

Warren County’s next major league baseball player would be Tom Tellmann in 1979

Tom Tellmann

We pick up this week with Clarendon-native Harry Weaver, who pitched in parts of five seasons in the major leagues.

Weaver’s 1921 and 1922 seasons were spent in Indianapolis and he would win 20 games there in 1922. He pitched in 1923 and 1924 in Columbus, Nashville, Galveston but never pitched to an ERA less than 5.00. He returned Indianapolis in 1926 to round out his career.

With no designated hitter, Weaver picked up five hits in 22 at-bats – with a double – in his major league career.

According to Wikipedia, his career was interrupted by service in World War I.

He lived until the age of 91, dying in Rochester, NY in 1983.

Art Johnson

Johnson is proof that pitching just one game still makes you a major leaguer.

Arthur Gilbert Johnson was born in Warren on February 15, 1897.

The lefty pitcher’s minor league career kicked off with the Albany Senators in 1923 where he picked up four wins in 42 innings with a 4.29 ERA.

No 1924 team is available but Johnson shows up again in 1925 pitching in three games for the Buffalo Bisons of the AA International League and again in 1926, where he pitched in 35 games with the Fairmont Black Diamonds of the Class C Middle Atlantic League.

Johnson moved to the Norfolk Tars in 1927 and went 19-10 with a 3.09 ERA in 236 innings.

That brought him to New York late in the season.

While the focus was on Babe Ruth mashing his way to 60 home runs and the Yankees winning 110 games with one of the greatest teams of all time, the cross-town New York Giants were wrapping up a fifth-place finish and would wrap up the 1927 campaign with a 92-62 record.

Johnson took the hill in relief in the bottom of the fifth inning on September 18 at the age of 30 and threw three innings – scattering one unearned run on one hit – in a 7-0 loss. (Yes, boxscores for every 1927 N.Y. Giants game are available online).

He faced just 11 hitters that day and those 11 would be the only major league hitters he would ever face.

In 1928, Johnson returned to the minors with the Jersey City Skeeters and went 7-8 with a 3.46 ERA in 180 innings.

He threw just four games in 1929 with the Newark Bears and wrapped up his career in the Class B New York-Penn League in 1930 with the York White Roses and the Hazelton Mountaineers.

According to The Baseball Necrology, Johnson went on to work for 27 years as “a salesman for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and was the sports editor of the Jamestown Post before retiring to Florida in 1965.

He died in Sarasota, Florida in 1982 at the age of 85.

Tom Tellmann

Warren wouldn’t produce a single major league baseball player from Art Johnson’s appearance in 1927 until 1979.

Tom Tellmann broke that streak.

Tellmann was drafted 11th round of the 1976 MLB draft out of Grand Canyon University by the San Diego Padres.

He made his debut pitching for the Walla Walla Padres in 1976 and also worked in the minors in 1977 with the Reno Silver Sox and in 1978 with the Amarillo Gold Sox.

In 1979, he posted a 2.93 in 83 innings for the AAA Hawaii Islanders.

He made his debut that year on June 9, coming on in relief in the bottom of the first and pitching 2.2 innings while allowing five runs.

The following season, he appeared in six games totaling 22 innings with a sterling 1.61 ERA in addition to 13 AAA wins.

1981 saw Tellmann start 25 games in AAA while 1982 saw a shift to the bullpen in AAA, where he pitched in 41 games, starting just seven.

In October 1982, Tellmann was traded from the Padres to the Brewers.

And that shift to the bullpen worked out well.

Tellmann returned to the majors in 1983, appearing in 44 games and posting a 2.80 ERA with the Milwaukee.

He followed that up by posting a 2.78 ERA over 50 games in the 1984 season.

He was released by the Brewers at the end of spring training in 1985 and latched on with the Oakland Athletics in 1985.

That year, the last of his career, he worked to a 5.06 ERA in 11 games with the A’s and a 5.84 ERA in eight games with AAA Tacoma.