Eppa Rixey

  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Phillies
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Eppa Rixey, Jr. (1891-1963) was one of the most durable left-handers of all-time. Until 1959 he was the NL’s winningest southpaw. That year, Warren Spahn surpassed Rixey and for the first 60 years of the century, only Walter Johnson and Pete Alexander started more games. The pitcher never played a day in the minors thanks to his University of Virginia coach’s rave reviews. Cy Rigler was a well-regarded umpire when not mentoring college players so his scouting report counted and the Phillies responded, signing him for the 1912 season. The club won a pennant in 1915 but Rixey labored for a mostly sub-par team until traded to the Reds in 1921. Rixey’s debut season with Cincy was stunning, allowing only one HR in 301 innings en route to a league-leading 25 wins. Staying with the Reds through 1933, Rixey’s labors for two lower division franchises meant the losses added up, too. So much so that he owns the dubious record of most losses in a career for a lefty: 251.

  • The hard-working, likable southerner lived just long enough to learn of his selection to Cooperstown, exclaiming to his family “I finally made it!”
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1963

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