- Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
- City: Minneapolis
- Team: Millers
- League: Western Association
Charles James Parsons (1863-1936) was a pitcher who got three try-outs with major league teams during a minor league career that spanned the latter half of the 1880s. He broke in with the Newark Domestics of the Eastern League in 1884 where, at twenty years old, he started two games, yielded just 3 earned runs in 15 innings and pitched to an 0-1 record. Charlie made an impression the following season for the Birmingham club of the Southern League, leading the team with a 10-13 record and an outstanding 1.48 ERA. On May 29, Parsons hurled the first no-hitter for those Barons, earning him a spot on the NL’s Boston Beaneaters’ roster to begin the 1886 season. Assigned to pitch back-to-back games, Parsons lost both and was summarily sold to Rochester of the international Association, where he had an excellent year at 15-10 with a team-leading 1.12 ERA. Charlie’s sustained success in the minors earned him another spot in a major league rotation in 1887, this time with the New York Metropolitans of the American Association. In four starts, Parsons went 1-1 but gave up 17 earned runs (36 total runs for the error-prone Mets). By 1888, Charlie was suiting up for the Minneapolis Millers. Other than being immortalized in five known poses by a Goodwin photographer in his Millers uniform, Charlie started just one game in Minneapolis, surrendering two runs and finishing the game in a losing effort. In 1890 Parsons got one more shot in the majors with the Cleveland Spiders. Again, they only used him for two games and he lost his only decision.
- The Sporting News reported in its June 16, 1890 edition that Parsons had been signed by Jackson of the Tri-State League, but there is no evidence that he ever played professional baseball again
- Parsons was 25-24 with a 1.31 ERA in 51 minor league games, but just 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA in 8 major league games
- Charlie may have been a better hitter than pitcher. Although it’s a small sample, Charlie hit .333 (9 for 27) in his 8 ML games, knocking in two and stealing a bag for good measure