Preston: Don Fisher, Larry Anderson, and the unlikeliest pitching performances in MLB history

From SABR member J.G. Preston at the J.G. Preston Experience on January 17, 2015:

In August 1945, with most major league-caliber players still in military service, the New York Giants signed a 29-year-old electric company employee who was pitching in a Cleveland semi-pro league. Don Fisher‘s previous professional experience consisted of one month in the Class D Northern League seven years earlier. He made a relief appearance for the Giants shortly after joining the team, then didn’t appear in a game for more than a month until manager Mel Ott chose him to start a game on the final day of the season.

Naturally, he pitched a 13-inning shutout.

He never played another game in the majors and won a grand total of three games in the rest of his professional career, thus making his one major league victory, at least in my eyes, the unlikeliest pitching performance ever.

Don Fisher was born in Cleveland in 1916 and attended John Adams High School, where he was a classmate of Al Curry, who also pitched professionally and was a semi-pro teammate. A 1945 story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer mentioned Fisher’s time with Fargo-Moorhead in the Northern League; while he is listed in the 1939 Spalding’s Baseball Guide, his statistics aren’t given since he didn’t appear in ten games or pitch 35 innings.

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Originally published: January 20, 2015. Last Updated: January 20, 2015.