Tony Mullane

Mullane was a multi-talented marvel, baseball’s first ambidextrous pitcher. He played without a glove, facing the batter with both hands on the ball before throwing it with either one. Handsome and muscular, with a reputation as a dandy, Mullane was also a skilled boxer, skater, and musician, as well as one of the better pitchers of his day. He twice led his league in shutouts, once in strikeouts, and once in winning percentage while regularly pitching over 400 innings. Despite his sober demeanor off the field (he did not drink, smoke, or gamble), Mullane was a free spirit who routinely ignored the game’s reserve clause. He jumped to the Union Association and then to Toledo after winning 35 games for the Browns in 1883 without stopping to play in the UA. He was suspended for all of 1885 when he signed with Cincinnati after Toledo had resold him to the Browns. And in 1892 he sat out half the season to protest the NL’s pay cuts. When he wasn’t pitching, Mullane played every position except catcher, and switch-hit his way to a .243 batting average in 2,720 at-bats.