Leonard Leslie Cole
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 170 lb.
- School Leander Clark College
- High School Industrial School for Boys (Eldora)
- Debut October 6, 1909
- Final Game September 20, 1915
- Born April 15, 1886 in Toledo, IA USA
- Died January 6, 1916 in Bay City, MI USA
“He is the natural pitcher who, whether he wants to or not, ‘puts something on every ball.’ His fast ball flashes upward and in; his curve breaks like an air-blown ball. He achieves his speed seemingly without an effort, his long arm and fingers giving the ball strange twists, and the speed with which he hurls it causes the air to do the rest.” - Hugh Fullerton, American magazine, 1910
Pitcher King Cole played with the Chicago Cubs from 1909 to 1912. He also played with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1912 and the New York Yankees in 1914 and 1915. Cole posted a lifetime 54-27 mark (.667) over 6 seasons with a 3.12 ERA. In 1910, he was unstoppable, finishing 20-4 with a league-leading 1.80 ERA in 239 2/3 innings as the Cubs took the pennant, falling to the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.
He underwent surgery for a groin tumor in April 1915. Declaring he was fit to play ball, he left the hospital in mid-May, ignoring doctor's orders to rest. He reported to practice, but was feeling dizzy while on the field and was helped back to the clubhouse. The doctor ordered him to go home to Bay City, MI and rest for several months, after which he would be fine to return to work. He was diagnosed with lung cancer later that year and died early in 1916 at 29.
- 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1910 & 1911)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1910)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1910 & 1911)
- Victor Debs, Jr.: "The King Is Dead", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Number 31, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2003, pp. 64-71.