Since there’s absolutely no way I can top Amb’s awesome post last week, (I hear Canadian Tire is doing incredible business on toggle bolts this week) I’m going to stick to what I do best and write about baseball. However, it’ll be a little different than usual.
One of baseball’s more notable feats of futility is the 20-game loser, which occurs when a pitcher loses 20 games in a season. It is a rare feat, as a pitcher must either pitch extremely poorly, pitch in a ton of games (hence why a lot of 20 game losers pitched in the glory days of yesteryear), and/or suffer unbelievably bad luck.
I came up with the idea to profile 20 game losers while perusing the trusty and incredible baseballreference.com. It turns out there is no shortage of 20 game losers with awesome names. So here goes:
Egyptian Healy – nicknamed Egyptian due to his birthplace of Cairo, Illinois, Healy lost 20 games 4 different times! Four! However, Egyptian was a serviceable pitcher, amassing a 78-136 career record with a 3.84 career ERA. He also gave 822 batters an emphatic pharaoh well by striking them out. Yes, that is a horrible pun. In other news, Egyptian even pitched for the Toledo Maumees, a legendary team with one of the worst names ever.
Pretzels Getzien – In Pretzels we trust. Pretzels lost 20 games three times in his career, yet somehow finished with a winning record for his storied career! He went 145-139 with a 3.46 ERA in a nine-year career. It is unclear as to why he was nicknamed Pretzels – it may have derived from his German ancestry (I don’t know why that would be) or from the belief he was able to throw a “double curve” following the curves of a Pretzel. After a victory over Kansas City in 1886, the Detroit Free Press wrote: “The Pretzel is all right. He went into the box to-day and pitched one of his finest, his curves circling around in the form of the delicious pastry from which Getz takes his sobriquet.” Enough said.
Ice Box Chamberlain – Ice Box was nicknamed as such due to his ability to possess “austere calm in the face of all hostility by the enemy.” In other words, he pitched with ice water in his veins. Ice Box lost 20 games twice in his career, but finished with a 157-120 record to go along with a 3.57 ERA. Not bad!
So there you have it. There are many more 20 game losers with funny names out there, but these were three of the best. Apparently, back in the day, losing 20 games wasn’t so bad, as Pretzels and Ice Box showed.
You go, Egyptian Ice Box Pretzels! Liz, feel free to steal that as the name of your next food creation, but give me credit for the awesome name.