George Jouett Meekin
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
- Debut June 13, 1891
- Final Game July 8, 1900
- Born February 21, 1867 in New Albany, IN USA
- Died December 14, 1944 in New Albany, IN USA
Jouett Meekin was a star pitcher in the majors from 1891-1900, reaching a peak in 1894 when he won 33 games for the New York Giants, a year in which his teammate Amos Rusie won 36 games for the team. In spite of having two 30-game winners, the team only finished second in the National League.
Meekin came into the major leagues in 1891 as a hard-throwing pitcher who got 144 strikeouts his first year in 228 innings. His strikeout per 9 innings ratio was 5.68, which led the league. Pitchers such as Meekin were a main reason that the National League moved the pitching mound from 50 feet back to 60 feet 6 inches in 1893.
Meekin started out for three years with the Louisville Colonels and the Washington Senators before spending the bulk of his career with the New York Giants. In 1896, he had 26 wins on a team that finished under .500.
Also in 1896, Meekin was ordered by team captain Kid Gleason to give the first-ever intentional walk to Jimmy Ryan, in order to pitch to George Decker, who struck out to end the game. Source: Baseball Digest, 2000, Jerome Holtzman. The strategy, if historically true, seems to have worked, even though Decker ended up with a higher slugging percentage in 1896 than Ryan. Another source says that Meekin was "amazed" at Gleason's suggestion (it's a wonder he wasn't insulted). See Kid Gleason, Brilliant and Aggressive.
The Giants never won the pennant, and in 1899 Meekin finally came to the Boston Beaneaters, one of the decade's top teams. He spent only a couple of months there, on a team that won 95 games in 1899, and he posted a record of 7-6. The team's top pitcher was Vic Willis, who won 27 games that year. The circumstances of his leaving the Giants apparently involved a release and perhaps a purchase by the Beaneaters, and Giants fans were outraged. Owners of the Brooklyn Superbas claimed that New York had traded him to Boston to harm Brooklyn's chances of winning the pennant.
As a hitter, he hit .243 lifetime with 15 home runs and 131 RBI. His slugging percentage in 1896 was well over the team slugging percentage. He also worked one game as an umpire in 1895 and three in 1896.
His father and grandfather were both riverboat captains. See Captain J.H. Meekin.
- NL Winning Percentage Leader (1894)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1894, 1896 & 1897)
- 30 Wins Seasons: 1 (1894)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 9 (1891-1899)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1894 & 1896-1898)
- 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1894)