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Jim Hughey

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James Ulysses Hughey (Coldwater Jim)

  • Bats Unknown, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0"

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[edit] Biographical Information

"I'm not stuck on pitching ball in the Big League. When I was in the Western League I received as much salary and had an easier time of it." - Jim Hughey

Jim Hughey lost far more games than he won but was still the top pitcher on the legendarily-bad 1899 Cleveland Spiders, where his 5.41 ERA and four victories led the starting staff.

Hughey started in major league baseball with the 1891 Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, pitching well. It was, however, the last year of the American Association's existence, and Hughey didn't come back to the majors until 1893 in the National League.

In 1892 he played for Kansas City of the Western League. In 1894-95 he pitched for Toledo.

He never had another winning major league season, although he pitched 143 major league games in the National League. Along with the 1899 Spiders, he also pitched on the extremely bad 1898 St. Louis Browns, who went 39-112. In spite of going 7-24 for the team, Hughey's 3.93 ERA was one of the best among the team's starters.

He went 11-54 in a two-year span and allowed 403 hits in 1899.

The most similar three players, according to the similarity scores method and as of June 2008, had much better winning percentages than Hughey, but lower on the list is an interesting comparison, John Coleman, a near-contemporary who was primarily a position player but while pitching managed to be approximately as unsuccessful as Hughey.

His nickname "Coldwater" came from a town in which he lived, and an amateur team for which he played, helping the local team to win a regional championship.

After his major league days he pitched again for Coldwater and Toledo, as well as for some other teams through 1904. Thereafter he farmed and ran a store.

One source: SABR biography of Jim Hughey.

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