Laughing Through Life: July 18, 2012

Andrew Henderson

And now, the rest of my all-time-weird-cool-funny-and-any-other-adjective-you-can-think-of baseball team….

But before we get to that, let’s recap who we have so far.:

C: Moe Berg

1B: Who (as in “Who’s on First”)

2B: Chuck Knoblauch

SS: Rey Quinones

3B: Ken Boyer

OF: Kevin Rhomberg

OF: Smead Jolley

OF: Ozzie Canseco

For this team, I have selected five intriguing pitchers — none of whom will see the Baseball Hall of Fame, unless they, of course, purchase tickets.

My ace of the staff shall be the Reverend Aloysius Stanislaus Travers. Try saying that name five times fast! Go ahead, I dare you!

Travers, who pitched only one game in his professional career, was selected mostly for the backstory on how he became a professional pitcher.

In May of 1912, a man named Claude Lueker, who had no hands, heckled Ty Cobb by calling the Georgia Peach a racial slur. Did I mention that he did not have hands?

Cobb, being the tough gruff that he was, entered the stands and began slugging Lueker repeatedly, ignoring the pleas of fans for him to stop beating up a man with no hands.

As you can imagine, Cobb was suspended indefinitely for the assault and his teammates went on strike until Cobb was reinstated. In order to avoid paying a fine and forfeiting the next game, the Tigers had to find replacement players.

One of those replacement players was Travers, a violinist and college student. Please note that I did not write that he was a college “player.” In reality, he was the assistant manager of the St. Joseph’s College baseball team.

In his one major league appearance, Travers pitched a complete game, allowing 26 hits and 24 runs (only 14 earned).

Well, at least I know he can go the distance!

Up next is the ever lovable Dave Rowe, who played from 1877 to 1888 for the Kansas City Cowboys, St. Louis Maroons, Cleveland Blues, and Chicago White Stockings.

If you thought Travers was bad, then take a look at Rowe’s time on the mound.

In 1882, Dave Rowe, usually an outfielder, took the mound for the Cleveland Blues of the National League.

He allowed 29 hits and seven walks in nine innings of work. Oh, he also allowed 35 runs to score, although “only” 12 of them were earned. It remains the record for most runs scored against a pitcher in major league history.

Rowe, who pitched three other times in his career, retired with an earned run average of 9.78 — despite pitching a complete game, two-run performance in his final game.

As you can probably realize by now, I prefer pitchers who complete games. Rowe completed two of the four games he took to the mound. Fifty percent! As Adam Sandler would say: “Not too shabby!”

Since I selected two pitchers from the Deadball Era, I’m going to select the next pitcher from the modern era.

Anthony Young was a promising prospect who eventually made his way to the majors. He was a decent pitcher, but unfortunately for him, he played for the New York Mets.

Young is on this list for his epic run of failure on the mound.

From May of 1992 to July of 1993, Young lost his mojo.

And lost it he did.

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