Johnny Lush

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John Charles Lush

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Biographical Information[edit]

Johnny Lush broke into the majors as a position player, but gradually became more and more of a pitcher. In all, he appeared in 181 games as a pitcher, 72 as an outfielder, and 64 as a first baseman.

His best year with the bat was his first, with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1904. He hit .276 in a league that hit .249. At the time, he was the youngest player in the National League.

As a pitcher, he was average, with his best year probably 1906 when he went 18-15 for a team that finished under .500. Still one of the five youngest players in the league, his 18 wins were good for second on the Phillies behind Tully Sparks who had 19 (and who was 11 years older than Lush). On April 16th, he pitched a game against the New York Giants in which he gave up 11 walks and struck out 10, winning 4-2. Since then, there have only been five instances of pitchers reaching double figures in both strikeouts and walks. He followed that with a two-hit shutout of the Boston Beaneaters on April 23rd, and a no-hitter over the Brooklyn Superbas on May 1st, 6-0, striking out 12 batters. He had only 5 career wins by that point. On May 30th, he pitched another shutout, this one a one-hitter against the Beaneaters. He remains the pitcher to have taken the fewest games, in a season or in a career, to throw a no-hitter, one-hitter and two-hitter. He didn't hit much over the first half, letting his pitching do the talking, but began to play the outfield regularly in mid-July, and he hit .304 with good power the rest of the way. That makes him the last player in major league history to have pitched 200 innings, with 200 at-bats and at least 20 games at a position other than pitcher, as two-way players, once common, were disappearing very quickly.

When he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1907, he was still only 21 years old.

Lush had attended Girard College, a high school in spite of its name and a place that produced quite a few major leaguers. He played for Williamsport in the minors in 1903, and again in 1905 played for Williamsport when he and the Phillies did not agree on a contract.

After the major leagues, he played minor league baseball and then was in business in Hawaii.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1906)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1906, 1907 & 1908-1910)

Related Sites[edit]