Charles Elmer Ponder
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 178 lb.
- School University of Oklahoma
- Debut September 18, 1917
- Final Game September 21, 1921
- Born June 26, 1893 in Reed, OK USA
- Died April 20, 1974 in Albuquerque, NM USA
Elmer Ponder won fewer games than he lost, but he had a pretty good ERA. Breaking in with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1917, in Honus Wagner's last season, Ponder had an ERA of 1.69 in 21 1/3 innings. It was by far the best ERA on the squad, although he pitched the fewest innings.
He was not on the team in 1918, but in 1919 he came back and went 0-5. His 3.99 ERA was below average on a team whose ERA was 2.88. He did pitch a perfect 5 2/3 innings of relief in in his first outing of the year, against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader on July 23rd; it would be 94 years until another member of the Pirates, Vin Mazzaro, threw as many as 5 perfect innings of relief, in 2013. In 1920, Ponder appeared in 33 games, with a record of 11-15. His ERA of 2.62, while not the best on the squad, was better than the team ERA of 2.89.
In 1921, he was doing well with an ERA of 2.19 in 24 2/3 innings, when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. His ERA with them went up to 4.74, with a record of 3-6, and his major league career was over. However, he went on to pitch six more years in the Pacific Coast League.
His lifetime major league record was 17-27, and his lifetime major league ERA was 3.21.
Elmer was the second player from the University of Oklahoma to come to the majors. He also played basketball at the University.
Only one other major leaguer has been named Elmer along with a last name starting with P: that was Elmer Pence, who came to the majors in 1922, the year after Ponder finished.