Preston: The unusual pitching career of Ed Konetchy

From SABR member J.G. Preston at The J.G. Preston Experience on August 4, 2013:

Ed Konetchy played more than 2,000 games in the major leagues and was one of the best first basemen of baseball’s Deadball Era. He also won a game and lost a game as a pitcher, both of which came, as you might guess, under unusual circumstances.

The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Konetchy from a minor league team in his hometown of La Crosse, Wis. in the summer of 1907 and immediately moved him into the lineup. He made his first pitching appearance in 1910, a four-inning relief job in which he allowed two runs. He didn’t get a decision in that game so I haven’t spent any time researching it, and I don’t know even the date or opponent.

But according to Konetchy’s biography as part of the Society for American Baseball Research’s Baseball Biography Project, he spent the winter after the 1910 season as the star pitcher for an indoor baseball team. “I suppose every player had the ambition to be a pitcher, and it may be that I might have had some chance to succeed if I had ever tried,” Konetchy said.

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Originally published: August 8, 2013. Last Updated: August 8, 2013.