James Patrick “Jimmy” Archer (1883-1958) suffered significant burns to his right arm at the age of 19 after falling into a vat of boiling oak sap, but this unfortunate industrial accident produced one of the strongest and most accurate arms in the baseball during the Deadball Era. Due to his shortened muscles in his right arm as a result of an unusually healing process, Jimmy developed a snap throw to second considered the best ever at the time by fellow backstop Chief Meyers. Though he first appeared with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1904) and the Detroit Tigers (1907), Archer spent the bulk of his career with the Chicago Cubs (1909-1917) before ending his career in 1918 playing once again for Pittsburgh as well as the Brooklyn Robins and Cincinnati Reds. His defensive prowess behind the plate made longtime catcher Johnny Kling expendable and he helped the Cubs win the 1910 National League pennant – their fourth in five years. In 1912, he led all NL catchers in assists, his second of five straight years with 100 or more assists as a catcher. He also had 97 in 1909. Jimmy’s best year at the plate also came in 1912 as he batted .283 with 109 hits including 20 doubles and 58 RBI. Jimmy Archer retired following the 1918 season with a .972 career fielding percentage and a 48% caught stealing percentage. Offensively, he had a .249 batting average with 660 hits, 247 runs scored and 296 RBI in 847 games.
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