During this time of the year, plenty of World Series items could be picked. I picked this one as I thought it was the most interesting. Today 127 years ago, on the last day of the regular season, a rookie pitcher went the distance and threw a no-hitter.
Charles “Bumpus” Jones made his MLB debut on the final day of the 1892 season. The Cincinnati Reds sent him to the mound to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in his MLB debut.
Pitching a no-hitter, one would think Jones did not give up a run but he did as an error led to an unearned run. Jones also issued four walks. The only run Pittsburgh scored came in the third when Patsy Donovan walked ( Jones’ final free pass of the afternoon), stole second, and hustled home when Jones slipped trying to field Farrell’s soft tap, then made a bad throw to Charles Comiskey. The Reds would win the game 7-1.
According to Sporting Life, The Pittsburgh players claimed Jones’ wildness made him effective, as they were afraid of being injured or mutilated.
The no-hitter was only one for the record books as it didn’t help the Reds to a pennant. They finished the season with an 82-68 record, twenty games out of first place.
With a debut like this, people thought Jones had a fantastic career ahead. But as he struggled in 1893, the Reds traded him to the New York Giants. He finished the season with a 1-4 record and a 10.19 ERA.
The reason for his demise? Perhaps the change of pitching distance. The pitching distance was 50 feet in 1892. From 1893, the pitching rubber moved back 10’6″ to today’s distance. It is rumored the actual distance would be 60 feet, but the zero was accidentally read as a six, leading to the strange distance it is today.
Anyhow, Jones did not return to the Bigs after 1893. Jones continued to pitch professionally as he pitched for the Grand Rapids Rippers and Sioux City Cornhuskers in 1894. He pitched for the Columbus Senators from 1896 to 1899 and finished his minor league career with the St. Paul Saints in 1901.