Eddie Plank: A famous son of Gettysburg

From Hillel Kuttler at the New York Times on June 30, 2013, with mention of SABR member David Jordan:

This week’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point in the Civil War, might also bring renewed attention to Eddie Plank, a relatively unappreciated baseball star in the early 20th century who spent most of his life here. The battle, fought on the first three days of July in 1863, stamped Little Round Top, Seminary Ridge and Pickett’s Charge into America’s military lexicon.

Plank’s pitching legacy is far less monumental.

He never led the American League in victories, earned run average or strikeouts, his critics say, and he did not have the presence on the mound of his Philadelphia Athletics teammates Rube Waddell and Chief Bender. “He wasn’t really colorful, but he got the job done,” said David Jordan, a former president of the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society. “And he did it on a consistent basis.”

Plank had eight 20-win seasons. With 326 victories, he ranks 13th on the career list and 3rd among left-handers, after Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton. He also threw 69 shutouts (fifth on the career list), completed 410 games (16th) and posted a 2.35 E.R.A. (21st).

Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/sports/baseball/eddie-plank-a-favorite-son-of-gettysburg.html

Related link: Listen to David Jordan on the Philadelphia Baseball History Panel at SABR 43

Originally published: July 1, 2013. Last Updated: July 1, 2013.