Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
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

donate

Thanks to
HowardMegdal
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogSan Francisco Giants acquire Kris Bryant from Chicago Cubs for two prospects
(12 - 3:48pm, Jul 31)
Last: rr: cosmopolitan elite

NewsblogNBA 2021 Playoffs+ thread
(3546 - 3:38pm, Jul 31)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogNew York Yankees acquire LHP Andrew Heaney from Los Angeles Angels for minor leaguers
(3 - 3:32pm, Jul 31)
Last: Shohei Brotani (formerly LA Hombre)

NewsblogWeekend OMNICHATTER for July 31 - August 1, 2021
(1 - 3:25pm, Jul 31)
Last: Shohei Brotani (formerly LA Hombre)

Sox TherapyDance With Who Brung Ya'
(10 - 1:26pm, Jul 31)
Last: Darren

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame denies Curt Schilling's request to be removed from ballot for 2022 vote
(27 - 12:53pm, Jul 31)
Last: Tony S

NewsblogBraves revamp outfield with deals for Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall
(6 - 12:10pm, Jul 31)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2021
(56 - 11:05am, Jul 31)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

Gonfalon CubsThis all sucks
(24 - 10:34am, Jul 31)
Last: bfan

NewsblogPadres Acquire Daniel Hudson From Nationals
(8 - 10:24am, Jul 31)
Last: bfan

NewsblogTrevor Story 'confused' after Rockies keep star shortstop at MLB trade deadline
(6 - 10:20am, Jul 31)
Last: bfan

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(13508 - 3:48am, Jul 31)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogLos Angeles Dodgers acquire veteran pitcher Danny Duffy from Kansas City Royals
(2 - 1:23am, Jul 31)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - In Which Euro 2020 Is Played in 2021
(798 - 12:06am, Jul 31)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogTRADE DEADLINE DECOMPRESSION OMNICHATTER, for July 30, 2021
(79 - 12:04am, Jul 31)
Last: Howie Menckel

Page rendered in 0.2464 seconds
48 querie(s) executed