September 19, 2002

THE LEAGUE PITCHING OF 1888. 08

While there is no more reliable a record, by which to estimate a
pitcher's skill in the box, than the figures showing the runs clean earned
off the pitching; in the absence of such figures the best criterion is
that of the record of victories and defeats pitched in, the percentage of
victories to games played being the deciding point in awarding the palm of
superior work in the box. In 1888 the pitchers were handicapped by the
absurd rule which charged runs scored on bases on balls as _earned_ runs,
successive bases on balls giving an earned run to the batting side, even
in the absence of a single base hit. To estimate a pitcher's skill on such
a basis is nonsense. As the scoring rules do not admit of the record of
data showing runs clean earned off the pitching, and not off the fielding
and pitching combined, we are obliged to make up a record of the
percentage of victories as the only reliable figures at command on which
to judge the pitching of the season. By and by the Committee of Conference
will get out of the old rut in this respect, and then correct data will be
available; until then we must do the best we can under the circumstances,
and consequently the names of the pitchers of the League Clubs who took
part in not less than ten games are appended, and these are placed in the
order of the best percentage of victories.

| | | | | | P
| | | | | | e
| | | | | | r
| | | | | | c
| | | | | P | e
| | | | | l | n
| | | | L | a | t
| | | W | o | y | a
| | | o | s | e | g
| | | n | t | d | e
|PITCHERS. |CLUB. | . | . | . | .
--+-----------+------------+---+---+---+-----
1|Keefe |New York | 35| 12| 47| .745
2|Conway |Detroit | 31| 14| 15| .689
3|Buffinton |Philadelphia| 29| 15| 44| .659
4|Sanders |Philadelphia| 19| 10| 29| .655
5|Krock |Chicago | 25| 14| 39| .641
6|Titcomb |New York | 14| 8| 22| .636
7|Clarkson |Boston | 33| 20| 53| .623
8|Tener |Chicago | 7| 5| 12| .583
9|Welch |New York | 26| 19| 45| .577
10|Sowders |Boston | 19| 15| 34| .559
11|Morris |Pittsburg | 29| 24| 53| .547
12|Van Haltren|Chicago | 13| 11| 24| .542
13|Staley |Pittsburg | 12| 12| 24| .500
14|Burdick |Indianapolis| 10| 10| 20| .500
15|Galvin |Pittsburg | 23| 25| 48| .479
16|Whitney |Washington | 19| 21| 40| .475
17|Baldwin |Chicago | 13| 15| 28| .464
18|Gruber |Detroit | 11| 13| 24| .458
19|Crane |New York | 5| 6| 11| .455
20|Casey |Philadelphia| 14| 19| 33| .424
21|Beatin |Detroit | 5| 7| 12| .417
22|Getzein |Detroit | 18| 26| 44| .409
23|Boyle |Indianapolis| 15| 22| 37| .405
24|Madden |Boston | 7| 12| 19| .368
25|Widner |Washington | 4| 7| 11| .364
26|O'Day |Washington | 16| 31| 47| .340
27|Shreve |Indianapolis| 11| 24| 35| .314
28|Radbourne |Boston | 7| 16| 23| .304
29|Gleason |Philadelphia| 7| 17| 24| .292

Some remarkable pitching was done during the season of 1888, alike in the
American arena, as in the League. The strategic work was up to a very high
mark in the League, and in this, Keefe, Conway, Buffinton, Clarkson,
Welch, Galvin, and Morris bore off the palm, while in speed alone, Crane
of New York excelled.

The detailed record of victories and defeats pitched in during the
championship campaign of 1888 by those who pitched in at least five
victories, is as follows. The names are given in the order of most
victories and fewest defeats:

VICTORIES.

| | | P | | | | I | ||
| | | h | | | | n | ||
| | | i | | | | d | W ||
| | | l | | | P | i | a || V
| N | | a | | | I | a | s || i
| e | C | d | | D | t | n | h || c
| w | h | e | B | e | t | a | i || t
| | i | l | o | t | s | p | n || o
| Y | c | p | s | r | b | o | g || r
| o | a | h | t | o | u | l | t || i
| r | g | i | o | i | r | i | o || e
| k | o | a | n | t | g | s | n || s
| . | . | . | . | . | . | . | . || .
-----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---++---
Keefe | --| 3| 5| 5| 5| 3| 8| 6|| 35
Clarkson | 5| --| 5| --| 6| 1| 5| 6|| 33
Conway | 5| 5| 5| 2| --| 5| 6| 3|| 31
Buffinton | 3| 4| --| 5| 2| 7| 5| 3|| 29
Morris | 6| 3| 4| 6| 3| --| 4| 3|| 29
Welch | --| 3| 5| 6| 1| 4| 3| 4|| 26
Krock | 5| --| 2| 3| 4| 3| 4| 4|| 25
Sanders | 0| 3| --| 3| 1| 3| 5| 4|| 19
Sowders | 3| 1| 2| --| 2| 4| 2| 5|| 19
Whitney | 3| 3| 4| 3| 1| 3| 2| --|| 19
Getzein | 0| 4| 4| 2| --| 2| 3| 3|| 18
O'Day | 1| 2| 3| 2| 3| 3| 2| --|| 16
Boyle | 2| 1| 2| 4| 2| 1| --| 3|| 15
Titcomb | --| 1| 2| 1| 3| 2| 1| 4|| 14
Casey | 1| 2| --| 2| 4| 2| 2| 1|| 14
Van Haltren| 0| --| 2| 1| 2| 2| 2| 4|| 13
Baldwin | 3| --| 1| 3| 2| 2| 2| 0|| 13
Staley | 0| 2| 0| 1| 1| --| 6| 3|| 12
Gruber | 2| 1| 1| 3| --| 1| 2| 1|| 11
Shreve | 2| 1| 0| 3| 3| 1| --| 1|| 11
Burdick | 1| 3| 0| 1| 1| 3| --| 1|| 10
Tener | 2| --| 0| 2| 1| 0| 1| 1|| 7
Madden | 0| 0| 2| --| 0| 3| 1| 1|| 7
Radbourne | 0| 1| 0| --| 2| 1| 0| 3|| 7
Gleason | 1| 0| --| 0| 0| 3| 1| 2|| 7
Crane | --| 1| 2| 0| 1| 0| 0| 1|| 5
Beatin | 0| 0| 0| 1| --| 1| 0| 3|| 5

DEFEATS
| | | P | | | | I | ||
| | | h | | | | n | ||
| | | i | | | | d | W ||
| | | l | | | P | i | a ||
| N | | a | | | I | a | s ||
| e | C | d | | D | t | n | h ||
| w | h | e | B | e | t | a | i || D
| | i | l | o | t | s | p | n || e
| Y | c | p | s | r | b | o | g || f
| o | a | h | t | o | u | l | t || e
| r | g | i | o | i | r | i | o || a
| k | o | a | n | t | g | s | n || s
| . | . | . | . | . | . | . | . || .
-----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---++---
Tener | 1| --| 2| 0| 0| 0| 1| 1|| 5
Crane | --| 0| 0| 0| 1| 1| 2| 2|| 6
Beatin | 1| 2| 1| 2| --| 0| 1| 0|| 7
Titcomb | --| 1| 0| 1| 3| 2| 0| 1|| 8
Sanders | 3| 2| --| 2| 1| 1| 0| 1|| 10
Burdick | 1| 1| 3| 1| 1| 0| --| 3|| 10
Van Haltren| 2| --| 1| 2| 3| 2| 1| 0|| 11
Keefe | --| 4| 1| 4| 0| 1| 2| 0|| 12
Staley | 2| 1| 2| 2| 3| --| 1| 1|| 12
Madden | 3| 2| 2| --| 2| 2| 1| 0|| 12
Gruber | 3| 1| 2| 2| --| 0| 2| 3|| 13
Conway | 2| 2| 1| 2| --| 3| 1| 3|| 14
Krock | 2| --| 2| 3| 2| 3| 1| 1|| 14
Buffinton | 4| 2| --| 3| 2| 2| 1| 1|| 15
Sowders | 3| 2| 4| --| 2| 2| 2| 0|| 15
Baldwin | 1| --| 1| 1| 4| 4| 2| 2|| 15
Radbourne | 2| 5| 0| --| 2| 2| 2| 3|| 16
Gleason | 2| 3| --| 3| 3| 1| 0| 5|| 17
Welch | --| 6| 4| 3| 2| 2| 1| 1|| 19
Casey | 5| 1| --| 1| 5| 2| 3| 2|| 19
Clarkson | 4| 3| 4| --| 2| 2| 3| 2|| 20
Whitney | 4| 1| 2| 5| 2| 4| 3| --|| 21
Boyle | 5| 5| 3| 3| 1| 5| --| 0|| 22
Morris | 3| 4| 4| 2| 3| --| 2| 6|| 24
Shreve | 4| 4| 4| 2| 5| 3| --| 2|| 24
Galvin | 4| 3| 7| 5| 3| --| 1| 2|| 25
Getzein | 5| 3| 3| 4| --| 7| 3| 1|| 26
O'Day | 4| 5| 4| 5| 3| 3| 7| --|| 31

These pitching records not only present a tolerably fair criterion of a
pitcher's skill in the box--though of course not as reliable as the data
of clean earned runs off his pitching or of clean hits made from it--but
they afford an interesting and instructive record from which to judge of
the success of a pitcher in defeating one particular team more frequently
than he does another, and vice versa. In fact, experience has shown that
no matter how effective a pitcher may be in a season's work, it will be
found that there is always one team which bothers him more than any other
he has to face, just as shown in the above quoted instances.

In regard to judging of a pitcher's ability as a fielder in his position
by the fielding averages of pitchers the basis was made equally as
unreliable as the estimate of earned runs was, owing to the fact that the
data of the fielding averages of a pitcher were made up from the figures
of "assistance on strikes" as well as from legitimate fielding
assistances. For this reason the pitcher, who was really a poor fielder in
his position in fielding balls from the bat, but who happened to be
fortunate in striking batsmen out by his pitching--thereby getting a big
record of pitching assistances--became the leader in the pitcher's
fielding averages; while the pitcher who really excelled as a fielder when
in the box, but who was not as fortunate in striking out his batting
opponents, and therefore could not furnish as good a record of assistances
on strikes, was set down in the fielding averages as a tail-ender.

The individual club record of the pitching of 1888 presents some
interesting figures. For instance, we find that while Chicago used no less
than eleven pitchers during the championship season Philadelphia was
content with but four. No less than twenty new pitchers entered the League
season in 1888, and of these, Sanders of Philadelphia; Tener and Krock of
Chicago; Sowders of Boston; Staley of Pittsburgh; Burdick of Indianapolis,
and Widner of Washington, proved to be acquisitions.

Below will be found the individual club pitching records for 1888,
showing the victories and defeats each club pitcher participated in as an
occupant of the box. The names given in italics are those of pitchers new
to the League arena: