David Charles Danforth
(Dauntless Dave or Dandy Dave)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 167 lb.
- School Baylor University
- Debut August 1, 1911
- Final Game October 1, 1925
- Born March 7, 1890 in Granger, TX USA
- Died September 19, 1970 in Baltimore, MD USA
Dave Danforth played a decade in the majors and is best known for developing a controversial pitch called the shine ball.
Following cups of coffee with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1911 and 1912, Danforth pitched in the minors for several seasons. While with the Louisville Colonels, he developed his trademark pitch by rubbing the ball on a spot of resin on his pants.
The Chicago White Sox purchased Danforth from Lousville prior to the 1916 season. After being tried as a starter for the Sox, he was moved to the bullpen and became one of baseball's earliest relief specialists. He led the American League in appearances (50) and saves (9) in 1917 as the Sox went on to win the World Series. Manager Kid Gleason hoped to move him to the rotation full-time in 1919, but he got shelled in his first start. He saw little playing time for the remainder of the year before being sent to the Columbus Clippers of the American Association for pitcher Roy Wilkinson.
After winning 25 games for the Clippers in 1921, Danforth was acquired by the St. Louis Browns before the 1922 season. While he was in the minors, trick pitches had been outlawed in the big leagues, so he was no longer able to legally use his shine ball. He did have some degree of success over four seasons with St. Louis, winning 16 games in 1923 and 15 in 1924. He also earned the nickname "Dauntless Dave" during this time for his ability to pitch with arm pain.
Following his big league career, Danforth played in the minors through 1932.
- AL Games Pitched Leader (1917)
- AL Saves Leader (1917)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1923 & 1924)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1923 & 1924)
- Won two World Series with the Philadelphia Athletics (1911) (he did not play in the World Series) and the Chicago White Sox (1917)
- Steve Steinberg: "Dave Danforth", in Jacob Pomrenke, ed.: Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 32-41. ISBN 978-1-933599-95-3