Monday, March 07, 2005
Dave Danforth Born
Also known as "Dauntless Dave," "Dandy Dave, " "Demon Dave," and so on, Danforth had a ten year career as a pitcher for the A's, White Sox and St. Louis Browns in the teens and twenties. A graduate of
Danforth however, was quoted as saying his shine ball was entirely scuffed and dirty, but nonetheless shiny. Danforth said he invented it in 1914 while pitching at
Danforth was twice given ten day suspensions for throwing a "loaded" baseball. Danforth (who possessed large strong hands) would take the cover off the ball and use that to give him more break on his curveball. Ty Cobb alleged Danforth would lift the seams and then use paraffin wax to give the impression the ball hadn't been tampered with. Danforth also allegedly pioneered the practice of keeping his thumb nail sharpened to a point so that he could raise and tear the seams of the ball to make it break further.
In addition to his assortment of doctored baseballs, Danforth also featured a pickoff move that was regarded by many as the best in the game, virtually indistinguishable from his pitching motion; many also thought it was a balk. Despite all the ball tampering and possibly balks, Danforth managed just seventy-one wins and an ERA worse than the league average, and retired after the 1925 season. Having gotten his DDS in 1915, Danforth worked as a dentist in