Larry Corcoran

Corcoran was one of the best pitchers of the 1880s, winning 170 games and losing only 84 from 1880 through 1884 for the Chicago NL team. He pitched three no-hitters. According to historian Lee Allen, Corcoran was the first pitcher to work out a set of signals with his catcher. He invariably carried a huge chew of tobacco in his mouth and when he chewed it shifted visibly. His regular catcher, Silver Flint, suggested that he signal his curve by shifting his chew, and the idea worked perfectly. Overwork, dissipation, and Bright’s disease ended his career, and he was dead by the age of 32. His .663 winning percentage is eighth all-time. A brother, Mike, pitched one losing game for Chicago in 1884.