George Zettlein (Charmer)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 162 lb.
- Debut May 8, 1871
- Final Game September 16, 1876
- Born July 18, 1844 in Williamsburg, NY USA
- Died May 22, 1905 in Patchogue, NY USA
George Zettlein holds the season record for most innings pitched without giving up a home run. In 1875, he tossed 462 1/3 innings, allowing no homers. He was reputed to be the hardest-throwing pitcher of his time. He went an abysmal 4-20 pitching for the Philadelphia Athletics in the inaugural season of the National League in 1876. He was one of a handful of players in the league to be over 30, and never pitched in the majors after that.
Zettlein had a record of 129-112 between 1871-76, with his best season in 1873 when he went 36-15 for Philadelphia.
The book When Johnny Came Sliding Home states that Zettlein had served in both the army and the navy during the Civil War and made his debut with the Brooklyn Eckfords in 1865. He joined the Brooklyn Atlantics in 1866. At first, he relied on his speed rather than on strategy. The Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1870 wanted him for their team but he had a municipal job in Brooklyn, NY and so stayed with the Atlantics. The Red Stockings may have wanted him because the Atlantics had been one of the few teams to beat them.
The book Long Before the Dodgers says that he was given the nickname "Charmer" after "George the Charmer", a buffoonish minstrel character. Zettlein had the reputation, at least at first, of being a hard-headed "Teutonic" fellow rather than a thinker.
- NA ERA Leader (1871)
- NA Shutouts Leader (1875)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1873-1875)
- 30 Wins Seasons: 1 (1873)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1871-1876)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1873-1875)
- 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1873-1875)
- 500 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1874)