One-Win Wonders, edited by Bill Nowlin

SABR Digital Library: One-Win Wonders

One-Win Wonders, edited by Bill NowlinAdd a new baseball book to your collection from the SABR Digital Library:

One-Win Wonders
Edited by Bill Nowlin
Associate editors: Len Levin, Carl Riechers, Bruce Slutsky
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-960819-13-0, $39.95
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-960819-12-3, $9.99
8.5″ x 11″, 391 pages

In One-Win Wonders, we meet 78 players whose time in the major leagues included only a single pitching win. One-Win Wonders is a companion book to the 2021 SABR book One-Hit Wonders, which included biographies of players who had gotten only a single hit.

The 78 players whose biographies are presented here are among the 915 players who completed their major-league career with just one win. An astonishing 229 of those never lost a game, ending with a career record of 1-0. Some simply had very brief stays in the majors, like Bill Ging “With the Wonderful Wing” who joined the Boston Beaneaters at the tail end of 1899 and secured a 2-1 complete game victory over the New York Giants, but found himself without a team when the National League contracted from 12 teams to eight in 1900. 

Then there’s Nick Adenhart, whose career was tragically cut short by a drunk driver hours after securing his win for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Others, like catcher Brent Mayne, were position players who wound up on the mound and left with a victory. Mayne’s win came in an epic extra-innings contest between the Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves.

We wanted to encourage new research by featuring players in this book who did not yet have a SABR biography. Thus, the surprising Jack Nabors (with a career record of 1-25) is not included, but his biography by Stephen V. Rice can be found on the SABR website.

The late Tom Ruane of Retrosheet graciously provided all the data regarding the full spectrum of the One-Win Wonders. Each of the current 30 major-league franchises is represented by at least one such wonder, as are a number of other teams, some dating back to the nineteenth century. One-Win Wonders represents the collaborative work of nearly 60 researchers, authors, and editors from the Society for American Baseball Research.

Contributors include: Malcolm Allen, Gary Belleville, Luis A. Blandón Jr., Richard Bogovich, William H. Brewster, Alan Cohen, Mike Cooney, Rory Costello, Ray Danner, Dennis Degenhardt, Philip Dixon, Jeff Findley, John Fredland, Steve Friedman, Peter M. Gordon, Tom Hawthorn, Steve Heath, Tim Herlich, Bill Hickman, Chris Hicks, John Paul Hill, Mark Hodermarsky, Bill Johnson, Josh Kaiser, Norm King, Sean Kolodziej, Gerard Kwilecki, David Laurila, Len Levin, Chad Moody, Jack V. Morris, Jim Moyes, Jerry Nechal, Tim Newby, Bill Nowlin, Tony S. Oliver, Tim Otto, Len Pasculli, Mark Pestana, Paul Proia, Alan Raylesberg, Carl Riechers, Richard Riis, Joe Schuster, Eric A. Simonsen, Steve Sisto, Bruce Slutsky, Glen Sparks, Clayton Trutor, Michael Trzinski, Eric Vickrey, John Watkins, Bob Webster, Paul White, Phil Williams, and Gregory H. Wolf.


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About the SABR Digital Library

For more than 50 years, SABR and its members have led the way in publishing the best baseball historical and statistical research. Our publications program is shifting to take advantage of new methods of publishing. Not only will we continue to publish new books like Can He Play? A Look At Baseball Scouts and Their Profession (2011); Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century (2013); Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox (2015); Jackie Robinson: Perspectives on 42 (2021), ¡Arriba! The Heroic Life of Roberto Clemente (2022); and Nichibei Yakyu: US Tours of Japan (2023); which showcase the best efforts of SABR’s members, chapters and committees, but new technology makes it possible for us to bring out-of-print titles like When Boston Still Had the Babe: The 1918 World Champion Red Sox (2018); Green Cathedrals (2020); and The Miracle Has Landed: The Amazin’ Story of How the 1969 Mets Shocked the World (2021) back again.

Visit to find all past titles and download your favorites. Books will be available in digital formats as well as paperbacks produced by “print on demand” (POD).

SABR members can download all Digital Library e-book editions for free and save 50% on purchase of the paperback editions. If you’re not a member, click here to join SABR.

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we’ll be adding to the SABR Digital Library. To learn more about SABR Publications, contact Publications Editor Cecilia Tan at

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Originally published: January 31, 2024. Last Updated: January 29, 2024.