Pittsburgh Press, June 19, 1914:
Bert Dorr, the first man to master the art of curving a baseball, died at his home [in Binghamton, New York] today. Dorr was considered one of the game’s greatest pitching stars in the old days. He was a member of both the old Cincinnati and Washington teams.
Seemed like the sort of player I’d want to learn more about, so I looked him up. Dorr was ten years old when Candy Cummings made his “major” league debut, so it’s tough to make a case for him as the inventor of the curveball. He never played for Cincinnati or Washington, as far as I can tell, and only made 8 MLB appearances, going 2-6 for the 1882 Brown Stockings.
Still, he appears to have been a pretty good player. Put up a 108 ERA+ as a 20-year-old in his only big league season, then went to the Interstate Association the next season and put up a 2.22 ERA. He largely vanishes from the record books after that. SABR has him appearing for Albany in 1885, but there are no more records of Dorr as a pro ballplayer after that.
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