Top Tigers Countdown #33: Hooks Dauss

Leon Halip

Quiet, steady, dependable. Hooks Dauss wasn't a superstar pitcher, but he pitched well enough to win the most games in franchise history.

When a pitcher comes to be known by a name like "Hooks," chances are he had a pretty good curveball. This was especially the case with George "Hooks" Dauss, who pitched for the Tigers for 15 seasons and has the most wins in franchise history. After a long wait in the poll, he lands at the #33 spot on our countdown.

Year IP W-L ERA FIP WHIP SO BB HR ERA- WAR
1912 17.0 1-1 3.18 4.14 1.18 7 9 0 93 0.1
1913 225.0 13-12 2.48 3.10 1.20 107 82 4 83 2.5
1914 302.0 18-15 2.86 2.61 1.24 150 87 3 102 3.8
1915 309.2 24-13 2.50 2.82 1.21 132 115 1 83 4.6
1916 238.2 19-12 3.21 2.96 1.30 95 90 2 111 2.4
1917 270.2 17-14 2.43 2.69 1.22 102 87 3 91 3.3
1918 249.2 12-16 2.99 2.61 1.21 73 48 3 108 3.1
1919 256.1 21-9 3.55 3.17 1.27 73 63 9 111 3.4
1920 270.1 13-21 3.56 3.69 1.45 82 84 11 95 3.5
1921 233.0 10-15 4.33 4.34 1.53 68 81 11 102 2.5
1922 218.2 13-13 4.20 3.60 1.42 78 59 7 105 2.9
1923 316.0 21-13 3.62 3.49 1.29 105 78 10 92 5.0
1924 131.1 12-11 4.59 3.90 1.48 44 40 6 110 1.2
1925 228.0 16-11 3.16 4.40 1.42 58 85 11 72 2.7
1926 124.1 12-6 4.20 4.29 1.48 27 49 6 103 0.3
Career 3390.2 223-182 3.30 3.33 1.32 1201 1067 87 97 41.2

George August Daus was born on September 22nd, 1889 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He signed a contract with a semi-pro team from South Bend in 1909, but was released before he pitched a single game. He then signed with the Duluth White Sox and went 19-10 in 37 games. After another couple years of pitching in Minnesota, Dauss' rights were bought by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went 12-19 for the St. Paul Saints that year, causing Pittsburgh to sour on his potential. The Tigers saw otherwise, and bought Dauss' rights.

Dauss made his big league debut later that year, winning his first start despite allowing eight walks and three hit batters. Despite his wildness, he was a regular member of the rotation in 1913. He finished the year with a 13-12 record and 2.48 ERA, tossing 22 complete games in 29 starts. This was the first of 11 consecutive seasons that Dauss pitched at least 200 innings. He had three separate 20-win seasons with two near misses in 1914 and 1916.

Hooks steadily improved during his first few years in the rotation, winning more games and compiling more WAR in each season from 1913 to 1915. He only struck out 389 batters in 836 2/3 innings during that three year stretch, but won 56 games while allowing just a 2.62 ERA. If pitching 71 complete games in 99 starts weren't enough, Dauss also made 25 relief appearances, compiling six of his 39 career saves.

Dauss was the workhorse of the Tigers' staff throughout the decade, but never led the league in wins, ERA, or strikeouts. While not a superstar, his highest ERA during any of his first nine seasons was 3.56, in 1920. He struggled a bit after that, likely due to Ty Cobb taking over as manager. Cobb's ability to handle the pitching staff was often questioned during his managerial career, but Dauss rebounded from a couple off years to put together a 5.0 WAR season in 1923. He went 21-13 in a career high 316 innings with a 3.62 ERA.

Although he played for 10 winning teams in his 15 seasons, Dauss never made a postseason appearance. The Tigers won 100 games in 1915 -- his second-best season in terms of WAR -- but finished 2 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox. Dauss finished his career with 233 wins, the most in franchise history. He ranks in the top 10 in several other categories, including innings pitched, WAR, and saves.

Stat Rank Total
Innings pitched 2 3390.2
Complete games 2 245
Starts 4 388
WAR 7 39.9
Strikeouts 8 1201
Shutouts 8 22
Saves 10 39

Dauss was known as a soft-spoken man both on and off the field. During the 1915 season, Dauss was married in St. Louis, then won his scheduled start against the Browns later that afternoon. He was also known as one of the worst hitting pitchers in the game, and for good reason. He finished his career with a .189 batting average and six home runs in 1318 plate appearances. Sam Rice, a Hall of Fame outfielder, gave up pitching after allowing a walk-off triple to "probably the worst hitting pitcher in baseball" in 1916.

Dauss lived quietly after baseball, retiring to a farm near St. Louis with his wife. Mr. Dauss passed away on July 27th, 1963.

More Roars

SB Nation Featured Video

Latest News

In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bless You Boys

You must be a member of Bless You Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bless You Boys. You should read them.

Join Bless You Boys

You must be a member of Bless You Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bless You Boys. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker