Sunday, October 22, 2006

October 22nd, 1936

Fred Olmstead Dies

As some of you might have guessed, I picked this based on the resemblance between the name of this ballplayer and the man who designed (among other things) Central Park. Given the different spellings of the last name, I assume they are no relation, although I can't say that for sure. Either way, Frederick Law Olmsted was far more adept as his chosen profession than Fred Olmstead was at his. Over the course of a four-year (1908-1911), nearly three hundred and sixty inning career, Olmstead managed only a 2.74 ERA--I know, I know, that looks good, but the league average ERA in those days was 2.65--and a 19-20 record.

The highlight of his Major League career came on September 8th, 1910. Pitching for the White Sox against the truly woeful St. Louis Browns (they finished 47-107 that year) Olmstead gave up a lead-off single, on the first pitch according to some accounts, to Frank Truesdale. Olmstead was apparently nonplussed by this set back as he promptly no-hit the rest of the Browns' line-up, throwing a complete game one-hitter. Olmstead may not have had much of a career, but at least he'd always have that one-hitter.

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