Dave Foutz

Chris Von der Ahe, bumptious owner of the American Association St. Louis Browns, acquired Foutz by buying the entire Bay City, MI franchise. Paired with Bob Caruthers, the slender, 6’2″ Scissors pitched the Browns to American Association championships from 1885 to 1887. Parisian Bob contributed 99 wins in those three seasons, Foutz 98. Foutz won a league-leading 41 in 1886 (his third straight year with an over-.700 winning percentage), in 504 innings, and recorded 11 shutouts. In 1887 Foutz managed a mere 25 wins, but hit .357 in 65 games as an outfielder and first baseman, positions he played more frequently for the rest of his career.

Cashing in on his investment, Von der Ahe sold his ace righthanders to Brooklyn in 1888 for $13,500. With the hard-hitting Foutz at first base, Brooklyn won the 1889 Association championship, switched to the National League, and won another pennant in 1890. Foutz pitched more in 1892, recording his last 13 wins. In 1893 he became a playing manager, but in four years never moved the team higher than fifth.

As a pitcher, Foutz’s .690 winning percentage is the second-highest career mark (tied with Whitey Ford) among retired pitchers, just behind the .692 of Bob Caruthers.