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Nig Cuppy

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George Joseph Cuppy
born George Maceo Koppe

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 160 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

George "Nig" Cuppy had a record of 162-98 in the major leagues. For most of his big-league career, he pitched on the same staff as Cy Young on the Cleveland Spiders in the 1890s.

Cuppy was born in Logansport, IN and pitched in the minors in 1890 an 1891. In 1892, at age 22, he made his major league debut with the Spiders in vaunted company - the 25-year-old Cy Young won 35 games while the 30-year-old John Clarkson was 17-10. Cuppy went 28-13 with approximately the same ERA as Clarkson.

Cuppy pitched for the team through 1898, as did Young, until in 1899 both of them moved over to the St. Louis Perfectos when the Spiders were stripped of their best players in order to strengthen the St. Louis squad. While with the Spiders, Cuppy won 28 games in 1892, 24 in 1894, 26 in 1895 and 25 in 1896. His record was above .500 every year that he was in the majors, except in his last season, 1901. The Spiders finished above .500 as a team each year from 1892-1898, and while they never won the pennant, they finished second on three separate occasions. That was reasonably impressive since there were 12 teams at the time in the National League.

Cuppy pitched well with the Perfectos in 1899, going 11-8, and then finally parted ways with Young in 1900 when Cuppy joined the Boston Beaneaters, which also had Vic Willis and Kid Nichols on the staff. Cuppy was the same age as Nichols.

1901 brought Cuppy and Young back together again on the Boston Americans, in the first season of the American League as a major league. Pitcher Ted Lewis also jumped over from the Beaneaters to the Americans. 1901 was the first season in which Cuppy finished below .500 and it was his first season with an ERA+ under 100. Nevertheless, it was his last major league season.

Cuppy threw a fastball, described as a rising fastball. On the other hand, he was well-known as a very slow worker, taking his time on the mound.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL Shutouts Leader (1894)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 4 (1892 & 1894-1896)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1892-1896)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1892 & 1894-1896)

[edit] Further Reading

  • Charles F. Faber: "George 'Nig' Cuppy", in Bill Nowlin, Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin, eds.: "New Century, New Team: The 1901 Boston Americans", Society for American Baseball Research, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 62-65. ISBN 978-1-933599-58-8

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