The Closet Moderate: Old-time Baseball Name of the Week

Friday, April 23, 2010

Old-time Baseball Name of the Week

Cannonball Titcomb.

Old-time ballplayers had the best nicknames, but this one was clearly worthy of blogging.

Ledell "Cannonball" Titcomb was a left-handed pitcher from 1886 to 1890. He put up a lifetime record of 30 wins, 29 losses, with an ERA of 3.47. Not terrible, anyway. In Titcomb's final season, while pitching for the now-defunct Rochester Broncos, he threw a no-hitter against the equally defunct Syracuse Stars. The teams both folded at the end of the season. Titcomb bounced around the minor leagues for two more years before retiring in 1892 after an arm injury. He died sixty years later and was buried in Kingston, New Hampshire.

Why was he given the nickname "Cannonball?" My internet research is inconclusive. One source suggests that he was a hard-thrower, which seems reasonable enough. Another suggests that, at 5'6'' and 157 lbs., his physique resembled a cannonball. The hard fastball sounds more likely, but who knows?

So, will this be a regular feature of the Closet Moderate? Or will it be something else my fellow bloggards and I forget to blog about? Only time will tell!

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