Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jack Powell

Jack Powell is the big right-handed pitcher of the St. Louis Browns in this 1910 season. He is one of the old members of that team. He has been with them since the organization of the New Browns in 1902. Powell's great forte is pitching with fearful speed. He also has perfect control...He was born at Bloomington, Ill., where he was discovered by Patsy Tebeau in 1895. That year Tebeau signed Powell for the Cleveland Spiders. For years Powell, Cuppy and Young were the pitchers of that team and they were then the best trio in the business. Powell was one of the men brought by the Robinsons to St. Louis when they transferred their Cleveland National League team to this city
-The National Game

John Joseph (Jack) Powell, pitcher for the Cleveland Spiders, was brought to trial in June, 1897, on a charge of playing ball on Sunday. He was fined $5 and court costs, which came to a healthy $153. Stanley Robison, owner of the Spiders, announced his intention to appeal the issue, but Sunday ball in Cleveland was discontinued for the rest of the century.
-The Historical Baseball Abstract

Powell's 1899 season for the Perfectos is rated the ninth best pitching season in Cardinals history according to this post over at Fungoes. I've talked about this list before and some of the problems I have with it but in 1899 Powell did put up the ninth most pitching Win Shares in Cardinals history. Take it for what it's worth.

Powell does have rather interesting stats. You should head over to Baseball Reference and check out his page. He had a lot of top ten finishes in numerous categories (both good and bad) and his similarity scores are fascinating. The four most statistically similar pitchers to Powell are all Hall of Famers-Eppa Rixey, Red Faber, Vic Willis, and Ted Lyons. Does this mean that Powell is or should be a Hall of Famer? No. It's just one of those odd things that's interesting to kick around.

The above photo comes from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat Collection at the University of Missouri's Digital Library, and, while undated, was most likely taken in 1911 or 1912.

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