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Roger Denzer

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Roger Denzer (Peaceful Valley)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

"One of the famous freaks of the game was the nail on the fence of the Sunday grounds at St. Paul . . . (Frank) Isbell says he was pitching . . . (and a) batter drove a fly (which) stuck on a wire nail . . . practically the same thing happened while Roger Denzer was pitching a game, the ball impaling itself on the same nail . . . Denzer, after the game, procured a hammer and bent the nail and Isbell, in telling the story, always offered to show a bent nail in the fence to prove it." - from the Atlanta Constitution, August 17, 1919

Roger "Peaceful Valley" Denzer went 4-14 in the majors but had more success in the minors, going 33-10 for St. Paul in 1898 and 20-10 for the Chicago White Stockings of the new minor-league American League in 1900.

Roger was born, and died, in Le Sueur, MN, about 60 miles southwest of St. Paul. He was the tenth Minnesota-born player to come to the majors.

He pitched for manager Cap Anson in 1897 and did better than one might think: his 5.13 ERA was not too much higher than the team ERA of 4.53. He was two years younger than fellow pitcher Clark Griffith.

He came back in 1901 to pitcher for manager George Davis, posting an ERA of 3.36, better than the team ERA of 3.87. He was a year younger than player-manager Davis.

According to a blurb in the April 26, 1897 edition of The Lewiston Daily Sun, Roger got the nickname "Peaceful Valley" because that was the title of a play being performed at the time and Roger supposedly resembled one of the actors.

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