Jesse Barnes

Barnes was a hard thrower who came to the ML with the Braves the year after their 1914 “miracle” pennant. By the time he became a regular starter, the team had strong pitching but little else. Barnes led the NL in losses (21) in 1917. After being traded to the Giants with Larry Doyle for aging Buck Herzog in January 1918, Barnes spent most of the season in the infantry but was 6-1 in nine starts for New York. The next year he was John McGraw‘s ace, leading the NL in wins with a 25-9 record and a 2.40 ERA. He was one of three Giants with 20 wins the following year with a 20-15 mark. In 1921 he contributed 15 wins to the Giants’ pennant and won twice in the WS. Although his win total fell to 13 in 1922, one of the victories was a no-hitter against the Phillies (5/7/22). That fall he was on the mound for the Giants in the 10th inning of Game Two of the WS with the score tied at 3-3 when umpire George Hildebrand called the game because of darkness. Most observers insisted there was still plenty of light, and Commissioner Landis was so incensed he gave the gate receipts to charity. Barnes’s younger brother Virgil pitched for the Giants during these years but did not become a regular starter until after Jesse was traded back to the Braves in 1923. They pitched against each other ten times, five as starters, with Jesse winning five and losing three. With the Braves, Jesse again led the NL in losses (20) in 1924. A lifetime .214 hitter, he is the only NL pitcher to walk twice in one inning (10/2/17).