Feats of Pitching


In 1884 Providence pitcher Charley "Hoss" Radbourn led the National league with 59 victories. He struck out 441 batters and had a 1.38 earned run average. Radbourn led the loop with 73 complete games and 678.2 innings pitched that season.

In 1887, Baltimore Orioles ace lefthander Matt "Matches" Kilroy had a pitching record of 46 wins and 19 losses with an earned run average of 3.07. The durable Kilroy pitched 66 complete games that year. He threw 6 shutouts while striking out 217 of the opposition's batters. The previous year the talented portsider was a 29 game winner for Baltimore. Matches struck out a major league record 513 batters in 583 innings of work that season. One would assume that he got that nickname because it was lights out every time he pitched.

On June 6, 1918, a recently drafted army recruit was asked to pitch in a company baseball game that was being played between soldiers who were stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. The officers who were conducting the event selected the man because they thought that he had the look of an athlete. The anonymous left-handed hurler cheerfully accepted the offer and stepped out onto the pitcher's mound and began to warm up. Over the next nine innings he proceeded to strikeout 25 of the opposing teams batters, while allowing them just one hit. The talented GI also connected for a home run in the second inning of the game to help lead his team to an overwhelming victory. When the contest ended, the man finally admitted that he was really Rube Benton and in civilian life he was a pitcher for the National League New York Giants.

In 1920, thirty six year old Chicago White sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte pitched the last game of his 14- year major league career. The knuckle ball throwing right-hander finished his tenure in the big leagues with a lifetime pitching record of 208 wins and 149 losses along with a stellar 2.38 career earned run average. In 1921, Cicotte was banned from baseball for life along with seven other White Sox players for allegedly taking money from gamblers to fix the 1919 World Series. This unethical lapse into dishonesty not only cost Cicotte his livelihood at the time, but also a chance for a possible induction into baseball's Hall of Fame. If Cicotte had continued pitching with the same relative success, he would have made a very appealing candidate for a plaque at Cooperstown. His disappointing transgression was truly a costly mistake.

In 1922, Philadelphia A's pitcher Eddie Rommel led both major leagues with 27 victories. The knuckleball specialist and Baltimore native topped both leagues with 51 mound appearances that season.

On April 25, 1924, Polytechnic Institute pitcher George Klemmick struck out 21 Severn High School batters in a 14 to 1 victory in a Baltimore High School League game.

On June 21, 1924, the Mercersburg Academy of Pennsylvania played a game against the Pennsylvania State Forestry Academy. Mercersburg won the game by the score of 9 to 0. Mercersburg pitcher Hadley threw a no hitter that day striking out 26 batters. Only one batter managed to put the ball in play against Hadley and he was thrown out at first by the third baseman.

On May 26, 1928, the Blue Ridge College baseball team played the Shepherd College ball club at New Windsor, Maryland. The Shepherd College nine won the game by the score of 3 to 2. The game lasted 19 innings. A student named Maine was the pitcher for the Shepherd College ball club. He pitched all 19 innings of the contest scattering seven hits while striking out 21 of the opposing team's batters. The game ended in the bottom of the 19th inning when Maine took matters in his own hands. The energetic mounds man reached base and then worked his way over to third. Cleverly eyeing the pitcher, Maine sensed an opportunity. While the opposing pitcher was looking in for the signs, Maine took off down the line heading for home. The clever pitcher slid over the plate moments before the ball arrived and brought the marathon contest to an exciting conclusion. Losing Blue Ridge pitcher Fraley pitched all 19 innings of the game allowing just six hits in the tough loss.

On May 23, 1931, Iven Young threw a no-hitter while pitching for the High Point, North Carolina team in a Piedmont League game. The 140- pound Young had been released by the Greenville ball club of the same league earlier in the year. The team's management stated at that time that Young was too small to be a pitcher.

On May 8, 1937, the Rochester University baseball club beat the Hamilton College team by the score of 1 to 0 in a game played at Rochester, New York. Winning pitcher Jerry Zornow did not allow the Hamilton nine a single hit during the entire game. The visiting team's pitcher Clark was all most as good, allowing just one hit, which occurred in the first inning of the game.

On June 25, 1939, St Mary's of Govans pitcher Jimmy Nugent threw a no-hitter against the Saint James team in a North Baltimore Catholic league game at Herring Run Park. Nugent struck out 16 batters while walking two. Not one player on the Saint James team hit the ball out of the infield.

That same day, Trenton A.C. pitcher Ed Long pitched a no-hitter against the Griffith A.C. team in Northwest Baltimore League game. Long also struck out 16 batters and walked two men.

In 1962, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Dean Chance had a pitching record of 20 wins and 9 losses along with a 1.65 earned run average. Chance tossed 11 shutouts that season.

In 1966, the Cleveland Indians fire- balling lefthander Sam McDowell pitched back-to-back one hitters. He struck out 225 batters that season.

In 1967, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg had a record of 22 wins and 9 losses with a league leading 246 strikeouts.

In 1968, Saint Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson had a record of 22 wins and 9 losses. He led the major leagues with an earned run average of 1.12. Gibson topped the National League that season with 268 strikeouts and 13 shutouts. At one point in the season, he threw 47 and 2/3 consecutive innings of scoreless baseball.



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