Charles H. Esper
born Charles Esbacher
- Bats Unknown, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11½, Weight 185 lb.
- Debut April 18, 1890
- Final Game July 12, 1898
- Born July 28, 1867 in Salem, NJ USA
- Died August 31, 1910 in Philadelphia, PA USA
"The . . . seasons in which he was a member of (the 19th Century Orioles) were his palmy days, for the team won the National League pennant in 1894, 1895 and 1896. Esper's work counted much in winning these flags, and in 1896 he pitched the deciding game which gave the flag to Baltimore." - from Esper's obituary in Sporting Life, Sept. 10, 1910
Duke Esper pitched nine seasons in the majors with seven different stops. His career pitching record was 101-100, and at the end of his career he became a good hitter with a .320 average in 1897 and a .370 average in 1898.
Esper had ups and downs. In 1892 his record was 13-6. In 1893 his record was 12-28. In 1894, pitching part of the season with the 1894 Baltimore Orioles, he was 10-2 for them. In 1896 he was 14-5. In 1897 he was 1-6.
Connie Mack, who was managing in Milwaukee in 1897, announced he had signed Esper, who was coming off his 14-5 season. It was big news, but St. Louis claimed it had the rights to Esper and Esper ended up playing for them instead in 1897. Source: Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball.
With the 1902 Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that went 85-42, he was 5-8.
One source says that Esper was the first major league pitcher to pitch an entire inning with just three pitches.
- 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1891)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1890, 1891 & 1893-1895)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1893)