Babe Adams

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Charles Benjamin Adams

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Biographical Information[edit]


Known for his great control, Babe Adams is often ranked as the top pitcher in Pittsburgh Pirates history.

After cups of coffee with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1906 and the Pirates in 1907, Adams went 22-12 for the Louisville Colonels in 1908. He joined the Pittsburgh staff for good the next year and posted a 12-3 record and a 1.11 ERA while splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen as the Pirates won the pennant. As the World Series began, ace hurler Howie Camnitz fell ill, and manager Fred Clarke started Adams in his place in Game 1 to face the Detroit Tigers. The rookie responded by throwing a six-hit complete game victory, and followed that up with complete game wins in Games 5 and 7 as the Pirates won their first championship. It would be 104 years until Pirates rookies grabbed three more postseason wins, two by Tim Wakefield in 1992 and one by Gerrit Cole in 2013; on the other hand, no Pirates rookie lost in the postseason until Cole fell later in 2013.

Adams went on to win 22 games in 1911, and 21 in 1913. On July 14, 1914, he threw a 21-inning game without allowing a walk but still lost the game to Rube Marquard and the New York Giants.

After his ERA ballooned to 5.72 in 1916, Adams spent the next season back in the minors in the Western League. He returned to the Pirates in 1918 and won 17 games in both 1919 and 1920. In the latter season, he allowed just 18 walks in 263 innings.

Adams ended his career with 194 wins over nineteen seasons and an average of just 1.29 bases on balls per nine innings pitched. He later was a writer, covering local sports and also serving as a foreign correspondent during World War II.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Winning Percentage Leader (1921)
  • NL Shutouts Leader (1920)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 5 (1910, 1911, 1913, 1919 & 1920)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 2 (1911 & 1913)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 7 (1910, 1911, 1913-1915, 1919 & 1920)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1913)
  • Won two World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1909 & 1925)

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1917 St. Joseph Drummers/Hutchinson Wheatshockers Western League 6th Lost League Finals replaced Wid Conroy
1927 Johnstown Johnnies Middle Atlantic League -- -- replaced by Chief Bender

Related Sites[edit]