MAY 2010: THE BASEBALL GURU ARTICLE FROM
BILL BERGEN/BILL BAILEY
We celebrate the best pitchers, the best position players, the various stars over the years who have been part of the game, and have written their names in the record book for their various achievements.
But what about those players who werent special, who just came to play day after day, those players who were just there.
Well over the years ONE MORE INNING has featured articles on the TOILERS IN THE SUN, players that garnered very little attention. Theres another catagory though that nobody really has focused on ..the worst of the worst.
Here is a look at two of them.
The worst pitcher:the worst hitter.
If they werent the worst,they were close!
He was one of the most abysmal hitters the Major Leagues have ever seen! Its truly amazing that he lasted for over twelve years. Thats probably a testament to his defensive skills, which were quite considerable. Its reputed that he had a cannon for an arm. In 1909 he had 202 assists as a catcher and in one game threw out a total of seven attempted base stealers. It still stands as an all time 20th century record.
Ah, but his hitting or rather lack of hitting ..thats another story and thats his dubious claim to fame!
His lifetime batting average is an unbelievable .170. Yes I said .170. Thats for 947 games. In all those games and times at bat he only had 2 homeruns with 193 RBIs.
In 1907, the year he had all those assists, he batted a horrific .139. This still stands as the lowest mark ever for somebody who has batted enough times to qualify during a season.
His lifetime batting average is 42 points lower than any other player who has gotten up 2, 500 or more times at bat. He had a brother who played in the Major Leagues and his average was considerably better.
He passed away in 1943 and its only been in recent times that his futility in the game has been publicized.
Coming up to the lowly St. Louis Browns in 1907, Bill Bailey went 4-1 for that season and that Im afraid was his last hurrah.
For the next nine years, playing mostly for very poor teams, Bill wracked up a pitching record of 36 wins and 76 losses. His is the worst won and lost percentage of any pitcher who played for ten years or over in the Major leagues. In the Minor Leagues he wasnt much better. Pitching in the Federal League he managed a 3-18 record in 1910 and he was 8-20 in 1915.
Besides his first year with St. Louis he never again had a winning season.
Now one doesnt stick around in the Majors for 10 years with Baileys kind of record for no reason at all.
One explanation was that he played for pretty awful teams and managed to get by enough to stick around.
He was born in 1889 and passed away in 1926. He never did live long enough to see his record publicized to the extent that it is nowadays (which may be a good thing).
Whats so ironic about all this is that there are pitchers around now with fairly awful statistics (almost comparable to Baileys) who are being paid huge amounts of money.
Bill Bailey died penniless!