Laurance Russell Cheney
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1½", Weight 185 lb.
- Debut September 9, 1911
- Final Game September 26, 1919
- Born May 2, 1886 in Belleville, KS USA
- Died January 6, 1969 in Daytona Beach, FL USA
Larry Cheney pitched nine seasons in the majors, ripping off three consecutive 300-inning seasons in his first four seasons.
Cheney reached the majors with the Chicago Cubs in 1911, going 1-0 in 3 games. In his final game of the season, September 17th against the Brooklyn Dodgers, his thumb and nose were broken by a Zach Wheat liner. As a result of the injury, his pitching style changed, and he began to throw a knuckleball. He later threw a spitball, which he learned from Ed Walsh.
In 1912, his first full season in the bigs, Cheney led the National League with 26 wins (the most ever by a rookie except for Pete Alexander) and 28 complete games, spinning four shutouts in a 26-10, 2.85 season, striking out 140 batters in 303 1/3 innings with a league-leading 18 wild pitches. Though he did not lead the league in victories again in 1913, he was similarly impressive, making a league-leading 54 appearances with a league-leading 19 wild pitches, a (retroactive) league-leading 11 saves, coupled with 136 strikeouts, 25 complete games and 2 shutouts to finish 21-14, 2.57 in 305 innings. In 1914, he made his third of six appearances leading the league in wild pitches (26) while also leading in walks (140) and appearances (50). Still, he won another 20 games, finishing 20-18 with a 2.54 ERA, 21 complete games, 6 shutouts and 157 strikeouts in 311 1/3 innings.
Larry would never again exceed 300 innings. He was flipped to the Brooklyn Robins during the 1915 season for Joe Schultz, only tossing 158 1/3 innings in 30 games. He had a strong 1916 for the pennant-winning club (18-12, 1.92 ERA, 166 strikeouts and 5 shutouts in 41 games), allowing just an earned run in Game 4 of a five-game loss to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. He spent three more seasons in the big leagues, never winning more than 11 games again, and dropped the curtain on his big league days in a three-team 1919 split between Brooklyn, the Boston Braves, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cheney played three more seasons in the minors and later operated an orange grove in Florida. He died in Daytona Beach at 82.
- NL Wins Leader (1912)
- NL Saves Leader (1913)
- 2-time NL Games Pitched Leader (1913 & 1914)
- NL Complete Games Leader (1912)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 4 (1912-1914 & 1916)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1912-1914)
- 25 Wins Seasons: 1 (1912)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1912-1914 & 1916-1918)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1912-1914)
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