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Wilbur Cooper Newsbeat

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-4-2014

Toledo News-Bee, November 4, 1914:

Wilbur Cooper, pitcher for the Pittsburg Pirates, was thrown from his horse [in McConnelsville, Ohio] Tuesday, breaking his right shoulder.

Cooper was a lefty, so at least it wasn’t his pitching shoulder. Wilbur had his worst season in 1915, going 5-16 with an ERA+ of 82 in 185.2 innings. His FIP was roughly the same in 1915 as it was in 1914, so it may have been bad luck. It may also have been a guy giving up more line drives and hard-hit balls because he wasn’t completely healthy.

Anyway, Cooper was a hell of a pitcher and would have been at least a borderline HOF candidate if you removed that (possibly injury-ruined) 1915 season from his stats and doubled 1916. He won 216 games for mostly mediocre teams, put up an ERA+ of 116, won 20 games four times, led the league in wins and shutouts. I’m not saying he deserves to be a Hall of Famer, even in the hypothetical “no broken shoulder” universe, but he’d be living in the Greater Red Faber Metro Area.


 

 

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