On this day in 1908 Addie Joss of the Cleveland Naps threw a perfect game against Ed Walsh and the Chicago White Sox in what is considered by some to be the greatest pitching duel ever. The Naps won 1-0 behind only 3 strikeouts from Joss. Walsh struck out 15 but took the loss (and then in 1910 led the league in ERA but recorded 20 losses. Pretty unfortunate pitcher). I only learned this because I have a little daily ritual of going to baseball-reference.com and seeing what happened today in baseball history. The name Ed Walsh wasn’t new to me, but I had never heard of Addie Joss. So I set out to learn more about him. Then I thought if I found them interesting, perhaps I should blog about it and maybe someone else would find it interesting.
Addie Joss was born in 1880 and debuted in the big leagues in 1902. Throughout his career he had 4 20-win seasons and 5 seasons with an ERA below 2.00. Two seasons after his perfect game, he again no-hit the Chicago White Sox. Then in April of 1911 Joss fainted on the field during an exhibition game. A few days later he would die of tubercular meningitis.
Because he only played in 9 seasons he was ineligible for baseball’s Hall of Fame. But in 1978 the Veteran’s Committee made a special exception and inducted him into the Hall.
It’s pretty remarkable that I think I know a good deal about baseball and it’s history, yet someone like this can fly completely under my radar. It makes me want to go down the HOF list and research some more guys. Or maybe I’ll go the opposite direction and do something on Mickey Weston. He seems like a nice guy.