Tommy Bond

Bond became the first “triple crown” pitcher when he led the National League with 40 wins, 170 strikeouts, and a 2.11 ERA for Boston in 1877. In 1878 he repeated as leader in wins, strikeouts, shutouts, and winning percentage, while working more games and innings than any other NL pitcher. He won a career-high 43 games in 1879, again was the NL’s ERA champion, and threw 12 shutouts while the entire league had only 42. In his first four NL seasons, he compiled a 154-68 record.

Bond was one of the first curveball pitchers. Born in Ireland, at age 18 he joined the 1874 National Association Brooklyn Atlantics. He remained with that team when it moved to Hartford in 1875 and became a pioneer entry in the NL in 1876. He was virtually his team’s only pitcher for most of his career, particularly while with Boston. In 1880 Boston was shut out in eight of Bond’s games, and Bond began phasing out his pitching career. He coached at Harvard and was a New England League umpire in 1882-83. He lived to be the last survivor of the National League‘s first season.