- Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
- City: Chicago
- Team: White Stockings
- League: National League
Lawrence J. Corcoran (1859-1891) was a shining star who left a short trail through the baseball heavens before flaming out in ill-health and an exhausted right arm. He could even use the left one and did pitch ambidextrously on at least one occasion. Few players of any era could have better fulfilled media prophecy: on Sept 13, 1879 the NY Clipper predicted that with good catching support “it would be difficult to get a base hit from his pitching.” Only two others would exceed Larry’s rookie 43 win total. By 1884 Corcoran would hurl his third no-hitter. He was the first to accomplish the feat and it wasn’t matched until Koufax many decades later. For five glorious years with Anson’s White Stockings, Corcoran was phenomenal: 170 wins, 246 CG and the no-nos.
- Unsurprisingly, the arm wearied. His body, afflicted by Bright’s disease, failed too, at age 32
- Per his SABR biographer: “Corcoran possessed all the attributes of greatness except durability”