A stocky pitcher with a blinding fastball, Pud Galvin racked up phenomenal totals in the early days of major league baseball. Galvin was 37-27 for Buffalo in 1879, his rookie season and the first of six straight 20-win campaigns. Though he never pitched for a club that finished better than third, Galvin became one of baseball’s all-time winningest pitchers.
His best seasons came with Buffalo in 1883 and 1884. In the former, Galvin was 46-22 and led the NL in games (76), starts (75), complete games (72), innings pitched (656-1/3) and shutouts (5). His 1884 achievements (46-22, 12 shutouts) were overshadowed by Hoss Radbourn’s 60 wins for Providence. Galvin had ended Radbourn’s 18-game winning streak, and a 20-game Providence win streak, with a 2-0 victory on September 9. He threw three shutouts against Detroit between August 2 and August 8, including a no-hitter on August 4, becoming the second pitcher in ML history with two or more no-hitters. (He had no-hit Worcester in 1880.) His 396 strikeouts in 1884 were a career high, and one of the highest pre-1900 single season totals.
In 1885 Galvin jumped from Buffalo (NL) to Allegheny (American Association), the club that joined the NL in 1887 as Pittsburgh. From 1886 through 1889, Galvin notched another four straight 20-win seasons. Galvin jumped to the Players’ League in 1890. He returned to the Pirates in 1891, but was released during the following season. He finished his ML career in his native St. Louis.
Galvin retired as one of baseball’s all-time leaders in wins (sixth), losses (second), complete games (639, second), innings pitched (second), and shutouts (57, tied for tenth). On July 21, 1892, Galvin faced Tim Keefe in the last battle of 300-game winners until Don Sutton met Phil Niekro in 1986. Galvin and Keefe met four times as 300-game winners from 1890 to 1892, the first such meetings in ML history.
Galvin died, penniless, in a Pittsburgh rooming house. Fan contributions paid for his burial. His brother, Lou, pitched two games for St. Paul (Union Association) in 1884. Pud was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965 by the Veterans Committee.