Albert Wentworth “Al” Demaree
Born: September 8, 1884 - Quincy, IL
Died: April 30, 1962 - Los Angeles, CA
MLB Pitching Record: 80–72
New York Giants NL (1912–1914, 1917–1918)
Philadelphia Phillies NL (1915–1916)
Chicago Cubs NL (1917)
Boston Braves NL (1919)
As pitchers go, Al Demaree was pretty good. As sports cartoonists go, Al Demaree was very good. He spent five seasons in the minors, working his way up to the Class A league playing for the Chattanooga Lookouts and Mobile Sea Gulls of the Southern Association. His 24–10 season for Mobile in 1912 finally attracted MLB attention and Demaree made it to the big leagues with the New York Giants as a late call-up in September that year.
His coming out year was 1913 when the 28-year-old rookie had a 13–4 record with a nifty 2.21 ERA. That was the same year that the Giants won 101 games and the National League Pennant, only to lose the Series to the Philadelphia Athletics. After Demaree was traded to the Phillies in 1915, he proceeded to win 14 games and followed that with 19 wins in 1916. For the next few years, Demaree bounced around the National League. He played for the Cubs, returned to the Giants for one season, and finished up with the Boston Braves. Over that period of time he was basically a .500 pitcher. He eventually wound up back in the minors playing in the Pacific Coast League and American Association right through 1924.
Demaree always had a flair with the pencil and during his tenure in the minors, at the end of his career, he dabbled in drawing. Demaree went on to become one of the most celebrated sports cartoonists in the country. His work was syndicated in over 200 newspapers nationwide and was published in the Sporting News for thirty years. He passed away in 1962 at the age of 77. Strangely enough, Al Demaree died penniless after being robbed of his life savings. He is buried in an unmarked grave in Costa Mesa, California. A very sad ending for a very talented guy.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html