Mickey Welch

Michael Francis Welch (July 4, 1859 – July 30, 1941), nicknamed "Smiling Mickey", was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He stood 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall and weighed 160 pounds (73 kg). He was the third pitcher to accumulate 300 career victories. Welch was born in Brooklyn, New York, and played 13 seasons in the major leagues, three with the Troy Trojans, and 10 with the New York Gothams/Giants.[1] He was very successful with an effective curveball, a change of pace, and a version of the screwball. During his 13 major league seasons, he posted 20 or more wins nine times, seven in succession.[2]

Mickey Welch
Mickey Welch baseball card
Born: July 4, 1859
Brooklyn, New York
Died: July 30, 1941 (aged 82)
Concord, New Hampshire
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 1, 1880, for the Troy Trojans
Last MLB appearance
May 17, 1892, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Win–loss record307–210
Earned run average2.71
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
VoteVeterans Committee

Early life

Welch was born Michael Francis Walsh in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents John and Mary Walsh. He later adopted the last name Welch. The name change may have been spurred by a sportswriter's mistaken recording of the name in a box score. The new last name may have distinguished him from the high number of men in Brooklyn at the time named Michael Walsh. Off the baseball field, Welch used his birth name throughout his life.[3]

When he was growing up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, baseball was the popular sport among Irish children. Welch recalled that he had to learn unique baseball skills because of his small size; he depended on strong control of his pitches, a good curveball and change-of-pace, and a studious approach to opposing batters.[3]

Major league career

Early career

Welch made his major league debut in 1880, winning 34 games for the Troy Trojans.[1] On July 6, 1880, he pitched a one-hitter against the Cleveland Blues.[4] Welch's totals dipped during the following two seasons, when he began to split starts with Tim Keefe, who also went on to win more than 300 games.[5] The duo would only enjoy moderate success over the course of three seasons with the Trojans, a team that never finished higher than fourth in the National League during its four-season run.[6]

After the Trojans disbanded after the 1882 season, the New York Gothams replaced them, taking many of the Troy players, including Welch. He resumed a heavy workload in 1883, throwing 426 innings in 54 games. This time he split pitching duties with John Montgomery Ward[7] in what turned out to be Ward's final season as a regular pitcher. In 1884, he went 39-21 with 345 strikeouts and a 2.50 ERA.

Strikeout record

Welch holds the record for most consecutive batters struck out to begin a game, with 9, set on August 28, 1884.[2] The record was not recognized for many years because of confusion over a dropped third strike. In the third inning of that game, a third strike was dropped by New York catcher Bill Loughran. As a result, that batter safely reached first base. Though modern scorekeeping would credit a pitcher with a strikeout in this situation, such an event was not always recorded as a strikeout by sportswriters of that era. Baseball historian Harry Simmons helped Welch to receive official recognition of the feat in the 1940s.[8]

Only three pitchers in the National League and two in the American League have come close to matching Mickey Welch's record nine strikeouts: In the NL: German Marquez (Colorado Rockies) on September 26, 2018, Jacob deGrom (New York Mets) in 2014, and Jim Deshaies (Houston Astros) in 1986 struck out the first eight batters faced; and in the AL: Carlos Rodon (Chicago White Sox) in 2016 and Joe Cowley (Chicago White Sox) in 1986 struck out the first seven batters faced.[9] Tom Seaver struck out 10 consecutive batters in 1970,[4] though not at the beginning of the game.

Middle career

Tim keefe
Tim Keefe, Welch's longtime teammate

In 1885, he went 44-11 with 258 strikeouts and a 1.66 ERA.[1] In the 1885 season, Welch and Keefe reunited as a two-man pitching rotation, with Keefe having a 32-13 win-loss record. The team, now called the Giants, had an incredible record of 85 and 27, with Welch winning 17 consecutive games at one point,[2] but finished second to the Chicago White Stockings, who finished with a record of 87-25.[10]

After the 1885 season, Welch was one of nine Giants players to form baseball's first union, which was known as the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players. The players were upset about the way they had been treated by baseball owners. The reserve clause, which restricted player movement and tempered increases in player salaries, had been instituted in 1880. The union spent the next several years recruiting new members and talking about the cause of player salaries.[11] Though Welch was still an active player, he began saving money with the goal of opening a hotel.[12]

In 1886, Welch won 33 games, which was second on the Giants to Keefe's 44 victories. Despite this win total from Welch and Keefe, the team fell to third place in the league. Though they enjoyed a 47-12 record at the Polo Grounds, they were 28-32 while on the road that year. As Keefe and Welch were so overworked by 1887, the Giants picked up young pitchers Bill George and Cannonball Titcomb, but both of them struggled and the Giants finished fourth.[13]

Later career

On September 10, 1889, he is credited as having become the first pinch hitter in major league history; he batted for Hank O'Day and struck out. Conventional wisdom indicates that this must have been an injury situation since a rule allowing pinch hitters in non-injury situations was not instituted until 1892. The first pinch hitter under that rule is generally agreed to be Jack Doyle‚ on June 7‚ 1892.[4]

The Giants won the 1889 World Series, but morale was low on the club. Relationships had become strained between players and owners across the league. The league was planning to implement a system of player ratings which would be used to determine player salaries. Welch and the other members of the Brotherhood were outraged by such a system and they began to plan a new baseball league, inviting players to join even if they were not Brotherhood members. The new eight-team league became known as the Players' League.[14]

Before the Players' League began its season in 1890, Welch realized that he was coming to the end of his playing career. Saying that he was in baseball to earn money, Welch agreed to re-sign with the Giants on a three-year contract. Welch said that he had been willing to accept $2,000 less to play in the Players' League, but that deal fell through when the league could only guarantee one year of salary. He met with sharp criticism from Jim O'Rourke and other Brotherhood members, but the Players' League lasted only one season.[15]

On April 24, 1890, with the score tied 2-2 in the 7th inning between his Giants and the Boston Beaneaters‚ Welch got into an argument with umpire McDermott, an argument that resulted in the umpire declaring the game forfeited to host Boston.[4] With Welch and Keefe still on the same club, the 1891 New York Giants had two 300-game winners. Until the 1980s, this was the only time that a major league team featured two pitchers with 300 wins each.[16]

After one start in the 1892 season, Welch was sent to the minor leagues, earning a 16-14 record and a 0.87 ERA for the Eastern League's Troy Trojans. He retired from baseball after the season, having compiled 307 victories, 210 losses, 1850 strikeouts and a career 2.71 ERA.[17] As of 2015, Welch ranks third on the all-time list of career wild pitches.[18] He had unique hitting skills for a pitcher, finishing his career with a .224 batting average, 93 doubles, 16 triples and 12 home runs.[17] In addition to his 607 games pitched, Welch made 59 career appearances as an outfielder.[17]

Personal life

Author David Fleitz writes that Welch did not swear, smoke or drink hard liquor. Welch liked beer enough that he would write poems about it, reciting them for sportswriters or for fans on the carriage ride to the ballpark on game days. Sometimes his poetry also advertised local bars and restaurants.[19]

Welch and his wife Mary had nine children, two of which died in infancy. Mary died in 1936.[19]

After baseball

After retiring as a player, Welch lived in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He joined an Elks lodge and remained in the organization for more than 50 years.[20] He owned a saloon for a while and after he sold it, he went into the dairy business with one of his sons.[19] Welch spent summers in New York. He worked as an attendant at the Polo Grounds.[19] In a 1911 book on baseball history, Welch was described as the owner of a hotel in Troy, New York.[21]

Welch and Keefe remained friends long after they retired from baseball.[22] He died at the age of 82 in Concord, New Hampshire.[20] He had been staying with his grandson in Nashua when he had to be taken to a Concord hospital with congestive heart failure. He is interred in the Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens, New York, under his birth name of Walsh.[23]

Welch was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1973.[24] He was represented at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony by his elderly daughter, Julia Weiss.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Mickey Welch's career statistics". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  2. ^ a b c "The Ballplayers – Mickey Welch". baseballlibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  3. ^ a b Fleitz, p. 29.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Ballplayers – Chronology". baseballlibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  5. ^ "Tim Keefe's career statistics". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  6. ^ "Troy Trojans History & Encyclopedia". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  7. ^ "1883 New York Gothams". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  8. ^ Bulkley, George (1982). "Why did Mickey smile?". Baseball Research Journal. 11. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "Sports A.M." Bangor Daily News. May 30, 1986. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "1885 New York Giants". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  11. ^ Fleitz, p. 37.
  12. ^ Fleitz, p. 47.
  13. ^ Kerr, Roy (9 September 2011). Roger Connor: Home Run King of 19th Century Baseball. McFarland. pp. 77–80. ISBN 978-0-7864-8513-0. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Fleitz, pp. 39.
  15. ^ Fleitz, pp. 40-41.
  16. ^ "Baseball notes". The Evening News. April 25, 1987. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  17. ^ a b c "Mickey Welch Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  18. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Wild Pitches". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d Fleitz, David L. (April 3, 2007). More Ghosts in the Gallery: Another Sixteen Little-Known Greats at Cooperstown. McFarland. pp. 140–149. ISBN 978-0-7864-8062-3. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Michael Welch, 82, ex-Giant pitcher". The New York Times. July 30, 1941.
  21. ^ Spink, Alfred Henry (1911). The National Game. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 398. ISBN 978-0-8093-2304-3. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  22. ^ Hawking, James (2012). Strikeout: Baseball, Broadway and the Brotherhood in the 19th Century. Sunstone Press. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-86534-864-6. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  23. ^ "Mickey Walsh stats". retrosheet.org. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  24. ^ "Hall of Fame Biography". baseballhalloffame.org. Archived from the original on 2007-11-04. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  25. ^ Markusen, Bruce (March 2002). Roberto Clemente: The Great One. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-58261-312-3. Retrieved March 26, 2015.


External links

1880 Troy Trojans season

The 1880 Troy Trojans improved slightly from the previous season, finishing with a 41–42 record and in 4th place in the National League.

1881 Troy Trojans season

The 1881 Troy Trojans finished in 5th place in the National League with a 39–45 record.

1882 Troy Trojans season

The 1882 season was to be the last for the Troy Trojans. The team finished at 35–48, in seventh place in the National League, and were disbanded after the season.

1883 New York Gothams season

The 1883 New York Gothams season was the franchise's first season. The team replaced the Troy Trojans when the National League awarded its franchise rights to John B. Day. The team went 46–50, finishing in sixth place.

1884 New York Gothams season

The 1884 New York Gothams season was the second season of that baseball franchise, eventually known as the San Francisco Giants. The team finished in fourth place, 22 games behind the pennant-winning Providence Grays.

1888 New York Giants season

The 1888 New York Giants season was the franchise's 6th season.

Claiming six future Hall of Famers (Roger Connor, Mickey Welch, Buck Ewing, Tim Keefe, Jim O'Rourke, and John Montgomery Ward), the team won the National League pennant by nine games and defeated the St. Louis Browns in the "World's Championship."

Keefe led the league in several major statistical categories, including wins, winning percentage, strikeouts, and earned run average.

1888 World Series

The 1888 World Series was an end-of-the-year professional baseball season championship playoff series between the National League champion New York Giants and the old American Association champion St. Louis Browns.

The Giants won, 6 games to 4. Hall of Fame pitcher Tim Keefe went 4–0.

This was the Browns' last appearance in a championship tournament and pre-modern-era World Series, the last of their four consecutive AA pennants. The club would later join the NL in 1892 and be renamed as the St. Louis Cardinals by 1900. It would be 1926 before they would win their next league pennant.

1889 New York Giants season

The 1889 New York Giants season was the franchise's 7th season. The team finished first in the National League with a record of 83–43. They beat the Boston Beneaters by just one game. The Beaneaters won the same number of games as the Giants, but lost two more games, giving the pennant to the Giants. The Giants went on to face the American Association champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms in the 1889 World Series, winning six games to three. The series marked the very first meeting between the Giants and the team that would become the Dodgers, a rivalry that continues to this day.

1973 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1973 followed the system in place since 1971, except by adding the special election of Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Warren Spahn.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Billy Evans, George Kelly, and Mickey Welch.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Monte Irvin.

300 win club

In Major League Baseball, the 300 win club is the group of pitchers who have won 300 or more games. Twenty-four pitchers have reached this milestone. The New York Gothams/Giants/San Francisco Giants are the only franchise to see three players reach the milestone while on their roster: those players are Mickey Welch, Christy Mathewson, and Randy Johnson. Early in the history of professional baseball, many of the rules favored the pitcher over the batter; the distance pitchers threw to home plate was shorter than today, and pitchers were able to use foreign substances to alter the direction of the ball. The first player to win 300 games was Pud Galvin in 1888. Seven pitchers recorded all or the majority of their career wins in the 19th century: Galvin, Cy Young, Kid Nichols, Tim Keefe, John Clarkson, Charley Radbourn, and Mickey Welch. Four more pitchers joined the club in the first quarter of the 20th century: Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Eddie Plank, and Grover Cleveland Alexander. Young is the all-time leader in wins with 511, a mark that is considered unbreakable. If a modern-day pitcher won 20 games per season for 25 seasons, he would still be 11 games short of Young's mark.

Only three pitchers, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, and Early Wynn, joined the 300 win club between 1924 and 1982, which may be explained by a number of factors: the abolition of the spitball, World War II military service, such as Bob Feller's, and the growing importance of the home run in the game. As the home run became commonplace, the physical and mental demands on pitchers dramatically increased, which led to the use of a four-man starting rotation. Between 1982 and 1990, the 300 win club gained six members: Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton and Tom Seaver. These pitchers benefited from the increased use of specialized relief pitchers, an expanded strike zone, and new stadiums, including Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium and the Astrodome, that were pitcher's parks, which suppressed offensive production. Also, the increasing sophistication of training methods and sports medicine, such as Tommy John surgery, allowed players to maintain a high competitive level for a longer time. Randy Johnson, for example, won more games in his 40s than he did in his 20s.Since 1990, only four pitchers have joined the 300 win club: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Johnson. Changes in the game in the last decade of the 20th century have made attaining 300 career wins difficult, perhaps more so than during the mid 20th century. The four-man starting rotation has given way to a five-man rotation, which gives starting pitchers fewer chances to pick up wins. No pitcher reached 20 wins in a non strike-shortened year for the first time in 2006; this was repeated in 2009 and 2017.Recording 300 career wins has been seen as a guaranteed admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame. All pitchers with 300 wins have been elected to the Hall of Fame except for Clemens, who received only half of the vote total needed for induction in his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2013 and lost votes from that total in 2014. Clemens' future election is seen as uncertain because of his alleged links to use of performance-enhancing drugs. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, Many observers expect the club to gain few, if any, members in the foreseeable future. Ten members of the 300 win club are also members of the 3,000 strikeout club.

Complete game

In baseball, a complete game (denoted by CG) is the act of a pitcher pitching an entire game without the benefit of a relief pitcher. A pitcher who meets this criterion will be credited with a complete game regardless of the number of innings played - pitchers who throw an entire official game that is shortened by rain will still be credited with a complete game, while starting pitchers who are relieved in extra innings after throwing nine or more innings will not be credited with a complete game. A starting pitcher who is replaced by a pinch hitter in the final half inning of a game will still be credited with a complete game.

The frequency of complete games has evolved since the early days of baseball. The complete game was essentially an expectation in the early 20th century and pitchers completed almost all of the games they started. In modern baseball, the feat is much more rare and no pitcher has reached 30 complete games in a season since 1975; in the 21st century, a pitcher has thrown 10 or more complete games in a season only twice.

Innings pitched

In baseball, innings pitched (IP) are the number of innings a pitcher has completed, measured by the number of batters and baserunners that are put out while the pitcher is on the pitching mound in a game. Three outs made is equal to one inning pitched. One out counts as one-third of an inning, and two outs counts as two-thirds of an inning. Sometimes, the statistic is written 34.1, 72.2, or 91.0, for example, to represent ​34 1⁄3 innings, ​72 2⁄3 innings, and 91 innings exactly, respectively.

Runners left on base by a pitcher are not counted in determining innings pitched. It is possible for a pitcher to enter a game, give up several hits and possibly even several runs, and be removed before achieving any outs, thereby recording a total of zero innings pitched. Alternatively, it is possible for a pitcher to enter a situation where there are two runners on base and no outs. He'll throw one pitch which will result in a triple play, and for that one pitch he'll be credited with a full inning pitched.

List of Major League Baseball wins records

The following is a listing of pitching win and winning percentage records in Major League Baseball. All teams are considered to be members of the American or National Leagues, unless noted. Players denoted in boldface are still actively contributing to the record noted. An (r) denotes a player's rookie season.

List of New York Giants Opening Day starting pitchers

The New York Giants were a Major League Baseball team that played in Manhattan, New York until moving to San Francisco in 1958. From 1883 until their move to San Francisco, they played their home games at the Polo Grounds. They played in the National League. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Giants used 33 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 75 seasons they played in New York. The Giants won 39 of those games against 35 losses in those Opening Day starts. They also played one tie game.Carl Hubbell had the most Opening Day starts for the New York Giants with six between 1929 and 1942. Mickey Welch, Amos Rusie and Larry Jansen each had five Opening Day starts for the team. Christy Mathewson, Red Ames, Jeff Tesreau and Bill Voiselle all had four Opening Day starts apiece for the Giants. Ed Doheny and Johnny Antonelli each had three Opening Day starts for the New York Giants and Antonelli also had an Opening Day start for the San Francisco Giants in 1959, giving him a total of four Opening Day starts for the franchise. Antonelli is the only player to have an Opening Day start for both the New York and San Francisco Giants.Other pitchers who had multiple Opening Day starts for the New York Giants were Hal Schumacher with three such starts, and Joe McGinnity, Rube Marquard, Jesse Barnes, Art Nehf, Virgil Barnes, Bill Walker and Sal Maglie with two apiece. Seven Hall of Fame pitchers made Opening Day starts for the New York Giants — Welch, Tim Keefe, Rusie, Mathewson, McGinnity, Marquard and Hubbell.

The New York Giants won the modern World Series five times, in 1905, 1921, 1922, 1933 and 1954. Their Opening Day starting pitchers in those years were Joe McGinnity in 1905, [Phil Douglas (baseball)|Phil Douglas]] in 1921, Art Nehf in 1922, Carl Hubbell in 1933 and Sal Maglie in 1954. In 1904, the Giants won the National League championship but no World Series was played. Christy Mathewson was the Giants' Opening Day starting pitcher that season. The Giants also won the 19th century World Series twice, in 1888 and 1889. Cannonball Titcomb and Mickey Welch were the Giants Opening Day starting pitchers in 1888 and 1889, respectively.

Jesse and Virgil Barnes, who each made two Opening Day starts for the New York Giants, were brothers.

List of San Francisco Giants team records

The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in San Francisco, California. The Giants formed in 1883 as the New York Gothams. The club was renamed to the New York Giants in 1885. 75 years later, the franchise moved to its current day city, San Francisco. Through the 2017 season, the Giants have played 20,528 games, winning 11,015, and losing 9,513 for a winning percentage of approximately .537. This list documents the superlative records and accomplishments of team members during their tenures as Gothams or Giants.

Michael Welch

Michael or Mike Welch may refer to:

Michael Welch (actor) (born 1987), American actor

Michael Welch (footballer) (born 1982), Irish footballer

Michael Paul Welch (born 1962), performer/producer from Barbados

Micky Welch (born 1958), Barbadian/English football player

Mickey Welch (1859–1941), baseball player

Mike Welch (American football) (born 1951), American football coach, head football coach at Ithaca College, 1994–present

Mike Welch, British CEO and founder of Blackcircles

Mike Welch (baseball) (born 1972), former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball

Pittsburgh Allegheny (International Association)

Pittsburgh Allegheny was the name of the first professional baseball club to represent Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team was an unrelated forerunner to the American Association's Pittsburgh Alleghenies that were established in 1882, which continue today as the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Troy Trojans (MLB team)

The Troy Trojans were a Major League Baseball team in the National League for four seasons from 1879 to 1882. Their home games were played at Putnam Grounds (1879) and Haymakers' Grounds (1880–1881) in the upstate New York city of Troy, and at Troy Ball Clubs Grounds (1882) across the Hudson in Watervliet, or "West Troy" as it was known at the time.

Overall, the franchise won 131 games and lost 194. The Trojans, along with the Worcester NL team, were expelled from the league shortly before the end of the 1882 season, as Troy and Worcester were seen as too small for the league's ambitions, but were encouraged to play out the rest of their seasons as lame-duck teams.

On September 28, 1882, only six fans appeared to watch Worcester host the Trojans in the second-to-last game of the season, then only 25 arrived for the last game between the two teams. Among games that have had at least one paying attendee, the attendance figure of six is the lowest attendance ever recorded at a Major League baseball game. In 1883 the New York Gothams, later known as the Giants, took the Trojans' former slot in the National League. Four of the original Gotham players were former members of the disbanded Trojans, including three Hall of Famers: Buck Ewing, Roger Connor and Mickey Welch.

A previous team named the Union Base Ball Club Lansingburgh was organized in 1860, the successor to the Victories of Troy, and was a member of the National Association of Base Ball Players. That team was given the nickname Haymakers by a defeated New York City team.Notable players for the Trojans included Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers, Connor, Ewing, Tim Keefe, and Welch.

Another Troy Trojans minor league team continued play until at least 1916.

Troy Trojans all-time roster

The Troy Trojans were a professional baseball team that played in the National League from 1879 to 1882. During their four seasons in existence, the team had a record of 134-191.

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