Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Man With the Infinite ERA

Most of these were achieved very early in baseball history, with several in the 1800s and a big burst of action between the wars. Then we see a big dropoff, with only five added to the club since 1950. Initiation is getting even rarer: After a drought of almost 50 years, Zach Weiss added to the collection in 2018. His outing was shortly followed up by an unsuccessful pitching cameo from Washington Nationals outfield Geraldo Parra.

Childers, I think, is the most interesting of the bunch, mostly because he’s almost completely unknown. Baseball is notorious for being a sort of repository of history, of statistics dating back generations, records meticulously kept. But nobody knows much about Childers.

Searching the Louisville newspapers during the 1895 season turns up nothing. The invaluable Baseball-Reference unhelpfully gives his date of birth as ‘unknown,’ although they have somehow managed to place his hometown as St. Louis. We don’t know which inning he pitched. We don’t even know which hand he threw with (I like him, so I’m going to go ahead and declare him an honorary lefty).

For most of the players in the list — let’s take Weiss, who pitched for UCLA and spent six years in the minors, as an example — we have a full record of their minor league journey, their trials and travails as they slowly ascended the bitter escarpment of professional sport. These are players who, despite their failure to make an impression at the very top, have made themselves known to the sport beyond that failure.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2021 at 06:14 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: era

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. BaseballObscura Posted: April 03, 2021 at 07:05 PM (#6011453)
Hey, I know about about the mysterious Childers. I wrote a blog post about his appearance and the hunt for his identity a couple years ago.

Essentially, he was a St. Louis amateur named Bill Childers, who was either recommended by Louisville catcher "Tub" Welch, a St. Louis native, or had petitioned Louisville manager John McCloskey for a trial. There was a pitcher named Childers pitching for the local Willows in summer of that year, so it is likely him.

There is a player named W. M. Childress playing for a Kennett, MO club in 1897 who could be our guy and in ​1898, a pitcher named Childress, reported to have been a star in the Texas League was playing for a local St. Louis semi-pro outfit alongside Welch, so this is likely the same guy, but I have not found a corresponding Texas League player with a similar or matching surname.

As of yet no further connection has been made. There is a William M. Childress who lived in St. Louis and would be the right age to be the ballplayer, but nothing connects him to baseball.
   2. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 03, 2021 at 07:36 PM (#6011458)
I'm sure there's a joke to be made about Billy Sunday having an infinite ERA.
   3. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 03, 2021 at 11:06 PM (#6011494)
How about this: Want proof saves are a misleading statistic? Sunday had an infinite ERA, but accumulated thousands of saves.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNBA 2021-2022 Season Thread
(233 - 6:01pm, Oct 21)
Last: 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price

NewsblogIt’s time for the city of Chicago to repeal the Wrigley Field night game ordinance
(12 - 5:56pm, Oct 21)
Last: McCoy

(550 - 5:44pm, Oct 21)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogOut of the bargain bin, will Rangers’ willingness to spend in free agency be rewarded?
(1 - 5:40pm, Oct 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2021
(12 - 5:25pm, Oct 21)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogDodgers Albert Pujols Hits the COVID-19 Injured List
(217 - 5:22pm, Oct 21)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogCarlton Fisk kept it fair, but Keith Olbermann’s attempt to sell historic ball is foul
(6 - 5:01pm, Oct 21)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogNathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox take issue with pivotal ball-strike call in loss to Houston Astros
(39 - 4:58pm, Oct 21)
Last: dave h

NewsblogThe fans' way at Fenway: loud, louder, loudest
(50 - 4:50pm, Oct 21)
Last: Cris E

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Transfer! Kits! Other Stuff!
(456 - 3:45pm, Oct 21)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogBaseball Games Are Still Too Long—and Getting Longer
(102 - 3:42pm, Oct 21)
Last: .

NewsblogMLB Just Tried a Bunch of Experimental Rules in the Minors. How Well Did They Work?
(7 - 3:41pm, Oct 21)
Last: Rally

Sox TherapyThe Boston Red Sox Will Play for the Pennant
(190 - 1:26pm, Oct 21)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogBaseball America: If There's A MLB Lockout In 2022, What Happens To The Minors Leagues?
(1 - 11:15am, Oct 21)
Last: Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc

NewsblogGlenn Burke, baseball’s first openly gay player, to be subject of Netflix series produced by Jamie Lee Curtis, Ryan Murphy
(13 - 9:51am, Oct 21)
Last: Tony S

Page rendered in 0.1613 seconds
48 querie(s) executed