A grooved pitch: Hall of Famer vs. Cup of Coffee youngster

From SABR member Dennis Pajot at Seamheads.com on June 10, 2012:

On Sunday, May 26, 1912, the sixth place American Association Milwaukee Brewers opened a series against the second place Minneapolis Millers, facing future Hall of Fame member Rube Waddell.

The eccentric Waddell is known to most baseball fans. Although on the downside of his career, he was still a pitcher to be reckoned with. During his major league career Rube posted a 193 and 143 record, mostly with Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics. Of these 193 wins, 50 were shutouts. He led the league in strike-outs six straight years in the first decade of the 20th Century, including 349 in 1904. Unfortunately, much of this is overshadowed in some people’s minds by the stories of his wrestling alligators, chasing fire engines, and drinking alcoholic beverage to excess. Minneapolis manager Joe Cantillon took in the believed washed up pitcher in 1911, and Rube responded with a 20 win season for the Millers.

On this Sunday in Minneapolis Rube struck out nine Brewers and allowed only four hits, two of them bunts, in route to a 6 to 2 victory. One of the hits he surrendered appears to have been a little tainted. According to the Milwaukee Journal:

In the ninth Capron was the first Brewer up. All afternoon his townsfolk and fellow students had waited for him to do something, and when his final chance came, Waddell’s kindness overpowered him. He slipped one over the heart of the pan with nothing on it but the cover. Cape met it square and off it went towards center. Once out on the grass, the Minneapolis outfield became more interested in watching Capron run than in fielding the ball. Clymer stood still and allowed Rossman to do the shagging. In the meantime Capron kept speeding on and when the ball was finally started toward the home plate, he was well on his way and reached home with the Brewers’ first run.

Read the full article here: http://seamheads.com/2012/06/10/a-grooved-pitch-hall-of-famer-vs-three-game-cup-of-coffee-youngster/

Originally published: June 11, 2012. Last Updated: June 11, 2012.