Born on June 22, 1903, in Carthage, Missouri, Carl Owen Hubbell was one of five baseball-playing brothers who grew up on a farm near Meeker, Oklahoma. He learned to throw a reverse curve, or "screwball," while winning seventeen games for the Oklahoma City Indians in the Western League during 1925. He joined the New York Giants in 1928 and, using the screwball as his primary pitch, became the National League Most Valuable Player in 1933 and 1936 as well as the Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 1936. Known as "The King" and the "Meal Ticket" in sixteen years of masterful pitching for the New York Giants, Hubbell was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947. He had a career won-lost record of 253-154 and an earned-run average of 2.98. In three World Series, he went 4-2 with a 1.79 ERA.
He earned lasting fame, however, for a remarkable performance in the 1934 All-Star Game at New York's Polo Grounds. He struck out National Baseball Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin in a row. Bill Dickey, also in the Baseball Hall of Fame, broke the string with a single up the middle. Hubbell also pitched a no-hitter against Pittsburgh in 1929.
After retiring, he served as minor league director for the New York Giants and then for the San Francisco Giants. He died in Arizona on November 21, 1988, after a car accident and was buried in Meeker. He is a member of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bob Burke, Kenny A. Franks and Royce Parr, Glory Days of Summer, The History of Baseball in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Heritage Association, 1999). "Carl Hubbell," Vertical File, Archives, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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