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John Wesley "Jack" Coombs

Also Known As: "Colby Jack", "Uncle John"
Birthplace: Le Grand, Marshall County, Iowa, USA
Death: May 15, 1957 (74)
Place of Burial: Saint Josephs Catholic Cemetery Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Frank Herman Coombs and Ellen Jane (Nellie) Coombs
Husband of Mary Elizabeth Coombs
Brother of Raymond C. Coombs; Ernest F. Coombs; Harry Brownie E. Coombs, Sr.; Alice Coombs and Private

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jack Coombs

John Wesley "Jack" Coombs (November 18, 1882 – April 15, 1957), nicknamed "Colby Jack" after his alma mater, was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played with the Philadelphia Athletics (1906–1914), Brooklyn Robins (1915–1918), and Detroit Tigers (1920). Coombs set a number of records in the American League and World League which stand to this day, and, when he won 31 games while losing nine in 1910, he became one of only 13 pitchers to win 30 games in a season since 1900.

Early life

Born in LeGrand, Iowa, Coombs was a 1906 graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he was a chemistry major and a member of Delta Upsilon. He also participated in football, track, and tennis. Colby's baseball field is named for him.

Baseball career

Three weeks after graduating, Coombs pitched in his first major league game for Philadelphia, which was a 7 hit shutout, defeating the Washington Senators 3-0. He finished 1906 with a 10-10 record and 2.50 ERA. In 1906, he pitched the longest complete game in the American League, 24 innings against Boston, winning 4-1. The following year was not great as Coombs went 6-9 with a 3.12 ERA. In 1908 and 1909 his record was only 19-16 despite his ERA being 2.00 and 2.32 those years.

His best season was 1910 which is still one of the best single pitching seasons in MLB history. Besides his record of 31–9, he led the American League in wins (31), games played (45), and shutouts (13), which is still the single season AL record. He won 18 of 19 starts that July and racked up 53 consecutive scoreless innings which was the major league record until Walter Johnson broke it three years later. Don Drysdale and Orel Hershiser have since broken the mark.

He also won three games in the 1910 World Series, in which the Athletics defeated the Chicago Cubs.

He made appearances in the 1911 and 1916 World Series. In 1919, he was the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies for one season before he returned to playing.

Later life

Coombs became a championship-winning coach at Duke University (1929–1952) who sent many players to the majors. Duke University's baseball field is named after him.

He spent his retirement as a sports historian and writer. In 1945, he published, "Baseball - Individual Play and Team Strategy"

John Wesley “Colby Jack” Coombs BIRTH 18 Nov 1882 Le Grand, Marshall County, Iowa, USA

DEATH 15 Apr 1957 (aged 74) Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA


Saint Josephs Catholic Cemetery Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA

MEMORIAL ID 52159956

Professional baseball player 1906-1920. Pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, Brooklyn Robins and the Detroit Tigers.

Manager of the Philadelphia Philliies for the 1919 season before returning to playing.

(submitted by contributor THR) One of the more underrated pitchers of his era, Coombs led the American League in wins in both 1910 and 1911 as well as 21 in 1912.

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Jack Coombs's Timeline

November 18, 1882
Le Grand, Marshall County, Iowa, USA
May 15, 1957
Age 74
Saint Josephs Catholic Cemetery Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, USA