Cheap Seats

Spitballs

It may be Halloween. But life got a lot less scary for hitters on his date in 1934 because Burleigh Grimes was released by the Cardinals marking the unofficial end of the spitball era.





The spitball was officially banned by Major League Baseball in 1920. But pitchers who used it at that time were grandfathered in. And Grimes was the last one of them still active in the big leagues. He was 42 when he hung up the spikes and became a coach and later a manager.





He was nicknamed "Ol' Stubblebeard" because he chewed slippery elm on the days that he pitched to make his saliva more slick and the whiskers were said to keep the slippery elm from irritating his face.





Grimes led the National League in wins twice and shut outs once. He won 273 games and had a career ERA of 3.53.

  Comments