Charles Frederick King
born Charles Frederick Koenig
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 170 lb.
- Debut September 28, 1886
- Final Game August 19, 1897
- Born January 11, 1868 in St. Louis, MO USA
- Died May 19, 1938 in St. Louis, MO USA
"Silver King has great speed and is very steady for a youngster." - Sporting Life, commenting on Silver King in the May 25, 1887 issue, near the start of his major league career
Aside from being a star pitcher who won as many as 45 games in a season (and lost as many as 29), Silver King is credited as being the first sidearm pitcher in the major leagues. Between 1887 and 1890 he had substantial success, winning the large majority of his games. His teams won the pennant in 1887 and 1888. He was easily the best pitcher in the league in both 1888 and 1890, leading the league each year in ERA+ by a large amount.
On June 21 1890 he threw a complete game no-hitter for the Chicago Pirates of the Players League against the Brooklyn Ward's Wonders, but lost 1-0. His team had chosen to bat first, so he pitched only eight innings. It was the first losing no-hitter in major league history, though a decision by Major League Baseball in 1991 has changed that status.
Lee King, who also played in the major leagues, is listed as his son in many sources, but census records indicate that he was not.
" 'Speaking of the changes in the pitching distance', said Captain Tebeau, 'I can remember a 16 to 15 game under the old rules. Silver King was one of the pitchers. You could hide the ball then, and he used to come, whirling around like a serpent up to the 45 foot mark, and let go.' " - Patsy Tebeau, recalling Silver King's pitching style, in Sporting Life, March 2, 1895
The nickname "Silver" King owed its origin to the famous "Silver King Mine," located in Arizona and one of the richest silver mines in American history. Its peak production coincided with the height of "Silver" King's own peak pitching performance.
- 2-time ERA Leader (1888/AA & 1890/PL)
- 2-time Shutouts Leader (1888/AA & 1890/PL)
- AA Wins Leader (1888)
- AA Games Pitched Leader (1888)
- AA Innings Pitched Leader (1888)
- AA Complete Games Leader (1888)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 5 (1887-1890 & 1892)
- 30 Wins Seasons: 4 (1887-1890)
- 40 Wins Seasons: 1 (1888)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1887-1892)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1887-1892)
- 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1888-1890 & 1892)
- 500 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1888)
- 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (1888)