Edward Victor “Eddie” Cicotte
Born: June 19, 1884 - Springwells, MI
Died: May 5, 1969 - Detroit, MI
MLB Pitching Record: 208–148
Detroit Tigers AL (1905)
Boston Red Sox AL (1908–1912)
Chicago White Sox AL (1912–1920)
More remembered for scandals than sliders, Ed Cicotte was one of the nastiest men to ever toss the horsehide. Aptly nicknamed “Knuckles,” the fiery Cicotte became notorious as one of the eight Chicago White Sox players who threw the 1919 World Series.
Before his socks turned black, Cicotte was a devastating hurler. In a 14-year career, he posted an ERA of under 2.00 five times. This frugality was mixed with ferocity as Knuckles whiffed over 100 batters in a season eight times. Cicotte was little more than a .500 pitcher in four and a half seasons with the Red Sox. He continued that trend after being sold to Chicago in 1912. Things changed in 1916 as the 32-year-old Cicotte went 15–7 with a 1.78 ERA. It was a sign of things to come.
He broke out in 1917, leading the American League with 28 wins, a 1.53 ERA, and a Herculean 346.2 innings pitched. In the 1917 World Series, Cicotte was 1–1 with 13 Ks and an ERA of 1.57 as Chicago beat the Giants in six games. In that Series, Cicotte surrendered 23 hits in 23 innings pitched. In fact, he gave up a nearly 3,000 hits in his career, but allowed just over 1,100 runs.
Cicotte was 29–7 in that fateful 1919 season and 1–2 in the tainted World Series loss. He would win 21 games in his final season of 1920 before being banned for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Ultimately, Cicotte’s legacy of awesome pitching is forever tarnished by awful decision-making.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html