Sloppy Thurston

Sloppy Thurston’s nickname was a misnomer. He inherited it from his father, a charitable restaurant owner who would dish out free soup to the poor. But the curveballing pitcher was a meticulous and dandy Jazz Age dresser. In the 12th inning of an August 22, 1923, game against the Athletics, he struck out the side on nine pitches. He had his best season for the last-place 1924 White Sox. He reeled off ten straight victories before the Yankees beat him on July 29, and ended the season at 20-14 with league highs of 28 complete games and 330 hits allowed. He was mediocre from then on.

After Thurston’s 6-8 performance in 1926, manager Eddie Collins declared his arm was dead and traded him to the Senators. Thurston was pitching for the Dodgers on August 13, 1932 when he allowed six HR in the first game of a doubleheader, tying the post-1900 ML record. He was one of the best-hitting pitchers of all time, with a .270 lifetime average and four .300 seasons. He became a longtime scout and signed Ralph Kiner to a Pirate contract.