February 17, 2012 by Matt Musico
Luke Appling: Shortstop, Chicago White Sox
.310 average, 1319 runs scored, 2749 hits, 4 home runs, 1116 RBI, 179 stolen bases
Luke Appling manned the shortstop position and leadoff spot in the lineup for his entire 20-year career. As a hitter, he was best known for being able to intentionally foul off pitches until he received one that he wanted to put in play. He hit over .300 in a season 16 times (including nine straight), won two AL batting titles, was elected to seven All-Star games, and had his #4 retired by the White Sox. Appling also had quite the reputation with his glove; he has the seventh highest total of games played at shortstop in a career (2,218), seventh highest total putouts at short all-time (4,398), and the sixth most assists ever at the position (7,218). He was a coach for some time after his playing career was over, but only got one chance to manage; it was with the Kansas City Athletics in 1967 and he went 10-30 as a late season replacement. What’s Appling’s biggest regret…never reaching the postseason with the Sox in his entire career.
Red Faber: Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
254-213 record, 3.15 ERA, 4086 innings pitched, 1471 strikeouts
You’re looking at one of the last pitchers to use the spitball legally in Major League Baseball (the other one is directly below). Faber played his entire career with the White Sox as well, which also spanned 20 seasons. He registered double-digit wins 14 times in his career, with four of those seasons ending in 20 wins or more. He also led the league twice in ERA, once in games started, twice in complete games, and once in innings pitched. As for career numbers, Faber ranks 42nd all-time with his 254 wins, 59th all-time with 273 complete games, 38th all-time with 17,104 batters faced, and has the 16th most assists by a pitcher (1,108). A little known fact about Red Faber is that he holds the record for most pitching decisions in a World Series (4), which occurred in 1917 against the New York Giants.
Burleigh Grimes: Pitcher, Brooklyn Dodgers
270-212 record, 3.53 ERA, 4180 innings pitched, 1512 strikeouts
Grimes was yet another pitcher that used the spitball; however, the pitch was banned when he was just 26 years old. The league exempted 17 pitchers who were in the league and currently using it. When Grimes retired in 1934, he was the absolute last pitcher that was able to use the pitch legally. He played with seven different teams in his 19-year MLB career, with the majority of his time coming with the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his time as a player, he enjoyed five 20-win seasons, led the league in complete games four times, innings pitched three times, wins twice, won four National League Pennants, which yielded only one World Series championship in 1931. He recorded 225 putouts while on the mound (66th all-time), 1,252 assists (6th all-time), and played in 616 games during his career. One fact about Grimes that I enjoyed the most is that he was nicknamed Ol’ Stubblebeard because he didn’t shave on the days he took the mound.
Tim Keefe: Pitcher, New York Giants
342-223 record, 2.63 ERA, 5072 innings pitched, 2533 strikeouts
During his 14-year career, Tim Keefe played for five different organizations, but he spent most of his time (six years) with the New York Giants. Keefe was unique because he was a submarine pitcher, and was the first hurler to ever post three different seasons of 300 or more strikeouts; when he retired in 1893, he held the records for most punch outs of all time. He won 20 or more games seven times (30 games four times, 40 games twice) and led the league twice, led the league in ERA, innings pitched, complete games, and strikeouts twice each. He has the ninth-most wins in MLB history, won the pitching Triple Crown in 1888, and set the record for the lowest ERA in history with a 0.86 mark in 1880. A great fact that shows Keefe’s toughness was that he pitched two complete game victories on the same day in 1883, and only gave up three hits. Wow.
Heinie Manush: Left Fielder, Washington Senators
.330 average, 1287 runs scored, 2524 hits, 110 home runs, 1173 RBI, 114 stolen bases
This slugging outfielder also bounced around to six different teams in his professional career, which spanned 17 seasons. The one constant throughout his entire time in the Major Leagues was the fact that he could hit, and could hit consistently. His .330 career average ranks 32nd all-time; he hit over .300 in 11 different seasons, but only won one batting title. He also led the league in hits twice, doubles twice, and triples once. Manush also showed that he could field as well, registering 3,841 putouts (85th all-time), 43rd all-time with 76 career assists, while playing in 1,845 games in the outfield during his career (75th all-time).
John Ward: Shortstop, New York Giants
.275 average, 1410 runs scored, 2107 hits, 26 home runs, 869 RBI, 540 stolen bases
164-103, 2.10 ERA
John Ward was an interesting case for me to look up because I wasn’t expecting to see hitting and pitching statistics. He won three National league pennants during his 17-year career, which was spent mostly with the Giants, and also threw a perfect game in 1880, which was the second occurence in MLB history. In the seven years that he pitched, he was in the double digit win column six times, leading the league in 1879 with 47 wins. Offensively, he led the league in stolen bases twice, at-bats per strikeouts twice, and enjoyed three seasons with over a .300 average. Ward was also known for organizing baseball’s first union (Players’ Brotherhood). In 1882, he pitched an 18-inning, complete game shutout, which holds the record for the longest shutout by a single pitcher in history.