Saturday, July 4, 2009

The MMOB Daily Quote - Mickey Welch

Michael Francis Welch Born as Michael Francis Walsh (July 4, 1859 – July 30, 1941)

Today's subject of
The MMOB Daily Quote is a 19th century pitcher who was the third man to amass 300 wins. While a pitcher for thirteen seasons, most of them with the New York Giants, he'd sometimes play centerfield when not on the mound - apparently doing so 59 times in all! So, in addition to his amazing pitching stats, he also had a .224 batting average and 13 home runs. Some claim he was even the first "pinch-hitter" when he batted for Hank O'Day in 1889.

With a lifetime ERA of 2.71, 1,850 strikeouts and a 307-210 record - winning 44 games in 1885 alone - he more than earned his induction into the
Major League Baseball Hall of Fame when he was voted in by the Veterans Committee in 1973.

Interesting Facts:

Mickey is credited with throwing the first screwball.

Welch holds the record for most consecutive batters struck out to begin a game, with 9, set on August 28, 1884.

Here are some quotes from and about Mr. Welch to start us off on this sunny 4th of July

"I had to use my head. I studied the hitters and I knew how to pitch to all of them. I had a pretty good fastball, but I depended chiefly on a change of pace and an assortment of curve balls."

"I threw the fadeaway back in my day, but we didn't have a name for it."

"When asked about the secret of his success, Welch smiled and attributed it to drinking beer. More likely it had to do with the fastball, curve and changeup he mastered while carving up hitters -- and an unusual screwball he might have been the first to throw."
Ron Smith of Sporting News in the book Heroes of the Hall

Cheers! - Jason

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