- Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
- City: Chicago
- Team: White Stockings
- League: National League
Marcus Elmore Baldwin (1863-1929) had a career that mirrored the stormy times in which he pitched. In his seven years with five clubs, Baldwin managed to get on the good and bad sides of some of the most notable figures in early baseball. He warred with Chris von der Ahe, including time in the slammer and charges of kidnapping. He practically put the “pirate” in the Pittsburgh Pirates by poaching inter-league players. He was the mound mainstay for Al Spalding’s world tour, only to return to lawsuits and acrimony as Spalding accused him of rowdiness beyond the bounds of a dissolute era. His debut was aborted as Cap Anson tried to insert him into the series with the Browns only to be expelled by the officials. Such was the checkered path that proved preparation for a long medical career in Pittsburgh.
- Baldwin was regarded as the flamethrower of his era. Catcher Jack O’Connor, who also caught Cy Young, said Baldwin was “the fastest pitcher I ever caught.”
- His fastball was all the more intimidating given Baldwin’s wildness, often walking as many as he fanned.