Wilbur Cooper

Arley Wilbur Cooper (February 24, 1892 – August 7, 1973) was an American starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played most of his career for the Pittsburgh Pirates. A four-time winner of 20 games in the early 1920s, he was the first National League left-hander to win 200 games. He established NL records for left-handers – second only to Eddie Plank among all southpaws – for career wins (216), innings pitched (3466⅓) and games started (405); all were broken within several years by Eppa Rixey. His career earned run average of 2.89 is also the lowest of any left-hander with at least 3000 innings in the NL. He still holds the Pirates franchise records for career victories (202) and complete games (263); he also set club records, since broken, for innings (3201), strikeouts (1191), and games pitched (469).

Wilbur Cooper
Wilbur Cooper Pirates.jpeg
Born: February 24, 1892
Bearsville, West Virginia
Died: August 7, 1973 (aged 81)
Encino, California
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 29, 1912, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
July 21, 1926, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record216–178
Earned run average2.89
Career highlights and awards


Cooper was born in Bearsville, West Virginia, and his family moved to Waterford, Ohio when he was a boy. He began his professional career in 1911 with a Marion, Ohio minor league team partially owned by future U.S. President Warren G. Harding; some reports suggested that Harding was the person who recommended Cooper to the Pirates, although he pitched for another minor league team before reaching the majors. In his first start with Pittsburgh in 1912, he pitched a shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1916 he set a team record, still unbroken, with a 1.87 earned run average. He won at least 17 games each year from 1917 through 1924, peaking with seasons of 24, 22 and 23 wins from 1920 to 1922, and led the league in starts and complete games twice each, and in wins, innings and shutouts once each. He worked quickly in his starts, often not getting the signal from his catcher until he had already begun his windup. Also known as an excellent fielder, in 1920 he became the only pitcher in major league history to begin two triple plays in a single season (on July 7 and August 21), and in 1924 he picked off a record seven runners at third base; that year the Pirates finished within three games of first place, the closest he would come to a championship.

In October 1924 Cooper was traded to the Chicago Cubs, along with Charlie Grimm and Rabbit Maranville, in a decidedly unpopular six-player deal; he was greatly disappointed to leave the Pirates, and never pitched as effectively again. In 1925, while Pittsburgh won the NL pennant for the first time since 1909, he surpassed Rube Marquard for the NL career innings record for left-handers; the following year, he broke Marquard's league record for career starts. In June 1926 he was picked up by the Detroit Tigers, and he ended his major league career after eight games with the team, though he played in the minor leagues through 1930. Over his career, he was 216–178 with a 2.89 ERA in 517 games, and struck out 1252 batters in 3480 innings. In addition to his NL career records for left-handers in wins, starts and innings, he also ranked second among league southpaws to Marquard in strikeouts (1250) and games pitched (509), second to Ted Breitenstein in complete games (279), and second to Nap Rucker in shutouts (35). His Pirates team records for innings and strikeouts were later surpassed by Bob Friend, and his record for games pitched was broken by teammate Babe Adams in 1926. Cooper, who batted right-handed, was also a fine hitter, and teammate Pie Traynor recalled that he would often bat in the #8 slot when he was starting; in 1924, he batted .346 in 104 at bats. He had a career .239 average with 6 home runs.

Cooper died of a heart attack at age 81 in Encino, California,[1] and was buried on the Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).

See also


  1. ^ "Wilbur Cooper - Society for American Baseball Research". sabr.org.

External links

1912 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1912 Pittsburgh Pirates season was a season in American baseball, the 31st in franchise history. The team finished second in the National League with a record of 93–58, 10 games behind the New York Giants.

During the season, Chief Wilson set a major league record by hitting 36 triples in a single season. After 118 games, Chief Wilson already had 33 triples and was on pace to get 43 triples.

1913 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1913 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 32nd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 27th in the National League. The Pirates finished fourth in the league standings with a record of 78–71.

1918 Major League Baseball season

The 1918 Major League Baseball season featured a reduced schedule due to American participation in World War I.

1921 Major League Baseball season

The 1921 Major League Baseball season, ended when the New York Giants beat the New York Yankees in Game 8 of the World Series. 1921 was the first of three straight seasons in which the Yankees would lead the majors in wins. Babe Ruth broke the single season home run record for the third consecutive season by hitting 59 home runs in 152 games. Ruth also broke Roger Connor's record for the most home runs all time when he hit his 139th home run on July 18 against Bert Cole. The record for career strikeouts, previously held by Cy Young was also broken in 1921 by Walter Johnson; Johnson lead the league in strikeouts with 143 and ended the season with 2,835 strikeouts. Young struck out 2,803 during his career. The Cincinnati Reds set a Major League record for the fewest strikeouts in a season, with only 308. Future hall of famers Kiki Cuyler and Goose Goslin both debuted in September 1921.

1921 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1921 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 40th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 35th in the National League. The Pirates finished second in the league standings with a record of 90–63.

1924 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1924 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 43rd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 38th in the National League. The Pirates finished third in the league standings with a record of 90–63.

1925 Chicago Cubs season

The 1925 Chicago Cubs season was the 54th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 50th in the National League and the 10th at Wrigley Field (then known as "Cubs Park"). The Cubs finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 68–86.

1926 Chicago Cubs season

The 1926 Chicago Cubs season was the 55th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 51st in the National League and the 11th at Wrigley Field (the last in which the venue was officially called "Cubs Park"). The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 82–72.

1926 Detroit Tigers season

The 1926 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth in the American League with a record of 79–75, 12 games behind the New York Yankees.

1937 Brooklyn Dodgers season

Former Dodgers pitcher Burleigh Grimes was brought in to manage the 1937 Brooklyn Dodgers, but the team continued to struggle, finishing in sixth place.

1952 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1952 followed the same rules as 1951.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted once by mail to select from major league players retired less than 25 year and elected two, Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner.

Meanwhile, the Old-Timers Committee, with jurisdiction over earlier players and other figures, did not meet.

1954 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1954 followed a system practically the same as in 1952 because the new Veterans Committee was meeting only in odd-number years (until 1962).

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent players and elected three: Bill Dickey, Rabbit Maranville, and Bill Terry.

Charlie Hough

Charles Oliver Hough (; born January 5, 1948) is a former Major League Baseball knuckleball pitcher.

Jewel Ens

Jewel Winklemeyer Ens (August 24, 1889 – January 17, 1950) was an American infielder, manager and coach in Major League Baseball. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Ens served the Pittsburgh Pirates as a utility infielder (1922–25), player-coach (1923–25), coach (1926–29; 1935–39) and manager (1929–31). He was a member of the 1925 World Series champion Pirates and their 1927 National League championship edition. He managed the Pirates from August 28, 1929, through the end of the 1931 season, leading them to a 176–167 record (.513) with two fifth-place finishes in the eight-team NL during his two full seasons as skipper.

Ens also coached in the Majors for the Detroit Tigers (1932), Cincinnati Reds (1933; 1941) and Boston Braves (1934), and spent eight full seasons (1942–49) as manager of the Syracuse Chiefs, then the Reds' top farm system affiliate.

During his 17-year active career (1908; 1910–25), Ens threw and batted right-handed, stood 5 feet, 10½ inches (1.8 m) tall and weighed 165 pounds (75 kg). After a long career in minor league baseball as a shortstop and third baseman, he made his National League debut with the Pirates at age 32 in 1922, appearing in a career-high 47 games played. For the next three seasons, he played a total of only 12 games, as he served as an aide to Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie. In 59 total big-league games and 186 at bats, Ens registered 54 hits, with eight doubles, four triples and one home run, hit off Wilbur Cooper of the Chicago Cubs on April 15, 1925, and sparking Pittsburgh to an 8–4 win. He drove in two of his career 24 runs batted in that day.

Ens succeeded Donie Bush as manager of the Pirates late in the 1929 season. Pittsburgh was in second place, but 14½ games behind the front-running Cubs, when the change happened. Under Ens, the Pirates won four out of five from the Cubs in a head-to-head series at Forbes Field, trimming three games off Chicago's lead, but they ultimately finished the season as runners-up, 10½ games out, going 21–14 under Ens. During his two full seasons, 1930 and 1931, the Pirates posted 80–74 and 75–79 records, and Ens was replaced by George "Moon" Gibson for the 1932 campaign. In subsequent National League coaching assignments, he again assisted McKechnie in Boston and Cincinnati.

After his coaching days, Ens enjoyed a successful, eight-year run as manager of the Syracuse Chiefs, making the International League playoffs five times and winning three (1942–43; 1947) Governors' Cup championships. He was still the incumbent manager and general manager of the Chiefs when he died at age 60 in Syracuse, from pneumonia, in January 1950. He was elected to the International League Hall of Fame the year of his death.

List of Major League Baseball career batters faced leaders

In baseball statistics, Batters Faced (BF), also known as Total Batters Faced (TBF), is the number of batters who made a plate appearance before the pitcher in a game or in a season.

Cy Young is the all-time leader, facing 29,565 batters in his career. Young is the only player to face more than 26,000 career batters. Pud Galvin is second having faced 25,415 batters, and is the only other player to have faced more than 25,000 batters. A total of 17 players have faced over 20,000 batters in their careers, with all but two (Bobby Mathews and Roger Clemens) being in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day starting pitchers

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the National League Central division. Originally known as the Alleghenys, they played in the American Association from 1882 through 1886, and have played in the National League since 1887. 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 Pirates have used 71 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began to play as a Major League team in 1882. The Pirates have a record of 69 wins and 60 losses in their Opening Day games.The Pirates have played in several different home ball parks. Between 1882 and 1909 they played in two parks called Exposition Park and in Recreation Park. They played in Forbes Field from 1909 to 1970 and Three Rivers Stadium from 1970 to 2000 and they have played in their current stadium, PNC Park, since 2001. They had a record of no wins and one loss in the first Exposition Park, four wins and no losses in Recreation Park and no wins and two losses in the second Exposition Park. They had a record of four wins and two losses at Forbes Field and a record of five wins and eight losses at Three Rivers Stadium. Through 2010, they have a record of two wins and one loss at PNC Park. That gives the Pirates an overall Opening Day record of 15 wins and 14 losses at home. They have a record of 54 wins and 46 losses in Opening Day games on the road.Bob Friend has made the most Opening Day starts for the Pirates, with seven. Babe Adams and Frank Killen each made five Opening Day starts for the Pirates, and Deacon Phillippe, Howie Camnitz, Cy Blanton and Bob Veale each made four Opening Day starts. Ed Morris, Pud Galvin, Wilbur Cooper, Ray Kremer, Rip Sewell, Steve Blass, Dock Ellis, Rick Rhoden, Doug Drabek and Francisco Liriano all made three Opening Day starts for the Pirates. Several Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day starting pitchers have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including Galvin, Burleigh Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Jim Bunning, and Bert Blyleven. Bunning was elected as both a United States congressman and senator from Kentucky after retiring from baseball.The Pirates have won nine National League titles, in 1901, 1902, 1903, 1909, 1925, 1927, 1960, 1971 and 1979. They went on to win the World Series in 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971 and 1979 (the modern World Series begin in 1903). Sam Leever was the Pirates Opening Day starting pitcher in 1901, Phillippe was the Opening Day starting pitcher in both 1902 and 1903, Camnitz was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1909, Emil Yde in 1925, Kremer in 1927, Friend in 1960, Ellis in 1971 and Blyleven in 1979.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates team records

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They compete in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) National League (NL). Founded in 1882 as Allegheny, the club played in the American Association before moving to the National League in 1887. The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.

In 134 seasons from 1882 through 2015, the team has won over 10,000 games and five World Series championships. The team has appeared in 18 postseasons and has won nine league pennants. Roberto Clemente owns the most career batting records with five. Ralph Kiner, Arky Vaughan and Paul Waner each own three single-season batting records. Bob Friend owns the most career pitching records and Ed Morris the most single-season pitching records, both with six.

In their history, the Pittsburgh Pirates have set three Major League Baseball records. In 1912, Chief Wilson hit an MLB-record 36 triples and, on May 30, 1925, the team collectively hit a major league-record eight triples in a single game. In addition, six no-hitters have been thrown in the history of the franchise, with the most recent on July 12, 1997. The Pirates also hold the MLB—and North American professional sports—record for most consecutive losing seasons with 20. The stretch began with the 1993 season and concluded with the 2012 season, at which point the Pirates recorded a winning record and a playoff berth in the 2013 season.

San Antonio Indians

The San Antonio Indians were a minor league baseball team based in San Antonio, Texas, that played from 1929 to 1932 in the Texas League. They played their home games at League Park. Notable players include Ray Grimes, Wilbur Cooper, Sam Leslie, Jack Mealey, Jo-Jo Moore, and Pinky Higgins.

The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers

The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (ISBN 0-7432-6158-5) is a non-fiction baseball reference book, written by Rob Neyer and Bill James and published by Simon & Schuster in June 2004. In the text on its dust jacket, it bills itself as a "comprehensive guide" to "pitchers, the pitches they throw, and how they throw them".


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