This Day in Baseball History: June 10th, 1944

Yeah, but did he understand Honors Chemistry?

On June 10, 1944:

Joe Nuxhall makes his major-league debut.

Joe Nuxhall was a perfectly acceptable pitcher for 16 seasons, but as his 101 ERA+ demonstrates, there was nothing terribly special about him, except for one thing. He’ll always have the distinction of being the youngest player in modern major-league history, and chalk that up to a record that will never be broken. In fact, it cannot be broken if the rules on age stay where they are.

Already 6’2″ and 190 as a freshman in high school, he had a blazing fastball, and he played on a semi-pro league with his father. As World War II decimated some professional rosters, the Cincinnati Reds went looking for players. Originally, they went to talk to Orville, Joe’s father, but Orville responded that he couldn’t leave his wife and 5 kids. Turned down, the Reds looked to his son. Joe signed the contract, but the Reds agreed that he would finish school before joining the team. It didn’t work that way, but Joe wouldn’t make an appearance before school let out.

On June 10th, he made his first appearance at the age of 15 years, 10 months. The St. Louis Cardinals made a visit to Crosley Field, and acting as unruly guests, they unleashed a 13-0 beating on the Reds. Coming into the ninth, the Reds just needed someone to go out there. Young Nuxhall went out and retired the first batter he faced. Five walks, two hits, one wild pitch, and five runs later, he was out of the game, not to get another out for the rest of the season. Jake Eisenhart came in and retired the last two batters, and like Nuxhall, it was his debut as well. Unlike Nuxhall, he would never pitch in another major-league game.

Trivia Time
Who is the youngest player in all major-league history?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Chiba Lotte Marines

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4 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: June 10th, 1944”

  1. Kelric Says:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107985/

    Henry Rowengartner, of course.

  2. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Hahaha. Kelric wins.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Fred Chapman, all the way back in 1887. He was 14 years old.
    http://dmbworldseriesreplay.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/1887-year-in-review/

    Although Rowengartner was the better pitcher.

  4. Dan Says:

    SABR research says that the info about "Fred" Chapman is an error. A graf about the matter is on page 2 of this file:

    http://www.sabr.org/cmsFiles/Files/marbio2009.pdf

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