Cheap Seats

December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Pud Galvin

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Looking at the Cards from a fan's perspective

Happy birthday to Hall of Famer and St. Louis native Pud Galvin who was born on Christmas day in 1856.

Gavin was the first pitcher to win 300 games in the major leagues. He hurled in an era when most teams only used two starting pitchers. Three times in his career Galvin threw 593 innings or more in a single season including his personal record of 656 1/3 in 1883.

While he book ended his career with season in his home town, Gavin played most of his years with the Buffalo Bisons and the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League. He also played for the Pittsburgh Alleghenies in the American Association when it was a major league and for the Pittsburgh Burghers of the Players League.

Gavin, who earned his nickname "Pud" making opposing hitters' legs appear to turn to pudding, won at least 20 games in 10 of his 15 seasons. In 1883-84 he won 46 games in back-to-back years.

As I mentioned in a post a couple of months ago, Gavin is considered by some to be the first major leaguer to use performance enhancing drugs. In 1889 he used an elixir said to contain monkey testosterone prior to one of his starts. 

Gavin died in 1902 at the age of 45. He is buried in Pittsburgh.

 

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About Cheap Seats

Scott Wuerz has reported for the Belleville News-Democrat since 1998​. He writes about the St. Louis Cardinals from a fan's perspective in his Cheap Seats blog.

Contact him at swuerz@bnd.com.

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