Frank T. Gilmore
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 164 lb.
- Debut September 11, 1886
- Final Game July 2, 1888
- Born April 27, 1864 in Webster, MA USA
- Died July 21, 1929 in Hartford, CT USA
"Frank had a sore arm, and he kept me up all night rubbing it with witch-hazel and a form of snake oil. The smell was so terrible I couldn't get to sleep." - Connie Mack, about his roommate and batterymate Frank Gilmore, per a story told by Fred Lieb as mentioned in the May 1965 issue of Baseball Digest
Frank "Shadow" Gilmore was a real find for the 1886 Washington Nationals. He pitched 75 innings and had 75 strikeouts, a strikeout/inning ratio that was far above the standards of the time. His 2.52 ERA stood out on a team whose average ERA was 4.30, and his 4-4 record was notable on a team which overall went 28-92.
In one game near the end of the 1886 season, Frank struck out 16 batters.
Frank came back in 1887 and was somewhat less effective, but still better than the team average. He had an ERA of 3.87 while the team ERA was 4.19.
It fell apart for him in 1888, when he went 1-9 with an ERA of 6.59. The team, although it still went only 48-86, had an overall ERA of 3.54.
Gilmore, who had pitched previously in the minors for Hartford and Newark, went back to the minors for part of 1888 with Syracuse. After that he pitched for Newark, Wilmington, Buffalo and Canandaigua.
Before he came to the majors Gilmore and the young Connie Mack formed a battery that was known as the "Bones Battery" because both were slender. When the major-league Nationals wanted to sign Gilmore in 1886, he insisted that they also take Mack, which they did in spite of feeling that he didn't hit enough. Gilmore, though, suffered arm problems in 1888 and was released, while Mack played with the Nationals through 1889 before joining the Players League.
At least that's one version of the story - in the book Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball, that version is said to have been told by Fred Lieb, while in 1948 Mack claimed the Nationals wanted him instead of Gilmore. However, the book goes on to point out facts which throw Mack's version in question.
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1887)