Cwik: The unbelievable story of Larry Corcoran, the first pitcher with three no-hitters

From Chris Cwik at Yahoo! Sports on September 20, 2017, with mention of SABR member Penelope Corcoran:

Larry Corcoran’s obituary in the Chicago Daily Tribune was just 46 words.

“New York, Sept. 20. — Larry Corcoran, the once famous pitcher of the Chicago Baseball club and for two seasons a member of the New York club, died at his home in Newark, N.J., last night of typhoid fever. He leaves a wife and two children.”

None of it was true. Corcoran died of Bright’s disease. He had four children. Oh, and he wasn’t dead yet.

The only part that was close to accurate — “the once famous pitcher” — undersold the point. From 1880 to 1884, the 5-foot-3, 127 pound Corcoran was the ace of the Chicago White Stockings. He etched his name in the record books, and is still mentioned today when someone approaches his mark, even though most baseball fans have no idea who he is.

Corcoran started 255 games between 1880 and 1884, going the distance in all but nine of them. He racked up 2,279 innings — an absurd number compared to today. From 2012 to 2016, David Price led baseball with 1,096 1/3 innings pitched. Corcoran also posted a 2.23 ERA over that period, which was 29 percent better than the league average.

In his first year with the club, he became the fourth pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter on Aug. 19, 1880. On Sept. 20, 1882 — exactly 135 years ago — he did it again, becoming the first pitcher in baseball history with multiple no-hitters. Two years later, on June 27, 1884, Corcoran added a third no-hitter, a record that wouldn’t be surpassed for 81 years.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 20, 2017. Last Updated: September 20, 2017.