- Jimmy Lavender
Infobox MLB retired
May 26, 1884
deathdate=death date and age|1960|1|12|1884|5|26
"Jimmy Lavender" (James Sanford Lavender May 26, 1884-January 12, 1960) was a
Major League Baseball pitcher. Born in Barnesville, GA, the right-hander played with the Chicago Cubsfrom 1912-1916 and with the Philadelphia Philliesin 1917.
Lavender primarily threw the
spitballin his career and used it to win 16 games as a 28 year old rookie in 1912. He would not equal that success again, winning only 10 or 11 games in each of his last 4 seasons in Chicago.
On July 8, 1912, he started against the New York Giants having pitched 34 consecutive scoreless innings in his previous outings. He pitched a 5-hitter in defeating the Giants 7-2 and ended Rube Marquard's consecutive win streak at 19 games which, at the time, tied the record for the longest streak in baseball history.
Lavender threw a
no hitteron August 31, 1915against the New York Giants and also threw a one-hitter against them on June 14, 1916, allowing only an infield single to Benny Kauff.
Lavender was an inconsistent pitcher with the Cubs, never completing more than half his starts in any season. He was also typically among the
National Leagueleaders in allowing the most wild pitches, hit batsmen and home runs.
He was traded to the Phillies in 1917 and pitched one season for them with a 6-8 record before his career ended. His final career record was 63-76 with a 3.09 ERA in 1,207 innings pitched. Lavender may have been most valuable to his teams for his ability to be both a starter and reliever. His ability to fill both roles was important to the small pitching staffs of the
dead ball era.
In his latter years in the mid-1950s, Jimmy Lavender, known as 'Pops' to the local kids, rode his bicycle to a Chicago park where he hit fungos to aspiring youngsters. Many learned from him how to field hardballs.
Jimmy Lavender died in Cartersville, GA at the age of 75.
Source: personal recollection of Seymour Schwartz Fact|date=October 2008
List of Major League Baseball no-hitters
* [http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/L/Lavender_Jimmy.stm/ Baseball Library]
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