In 1876, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs was born. Now known as the National League, the teams that made up the NL back then were the Atletic Club of Philadelphia, Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Colonels, Mutual Club of New York and the St. Louis Brown Stockings. In 1878 the Indianapolis Blues joined the league and had a rookie pitcher on the team – Jim McCormick. Jim was pretty darned good. His record, was just 5-8. But he had a sparkling ERA of 1.65 in 14 starts and 117-innings pitched. It was the start of a magnificent career for McCormick, albeit a career dogged by awful teams. Nonetheless, McCormick put up impressive numbers over his 10-year career including a 45-win season and a 40-win season. Five times he pitched over 500-innings in a season, including 657 2/3 in 1880. He averaged 298-innings a year and finished his career with 265 wins and a 2.43 ERA. Yet, his accomplishments are never spoken of. Of the knocks against McCormick are the facts that he played only 10-years and he did have three seasons where he lost at least 30-games. Still, many of his contemporaries were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but McCormick has been pushed aside. Jay Wiley, a lifelong baseball fan, has made it a habit to explore the careers of those whom the Hall of Fame has bypassed, and McCormick tops his list. In fact, Wiley has created website, mccormickforthehall.com, and he posts about McCormick on twitter all the time. The stats Wiley posts and discusses are extraordinary and leaves one wondering how the Hall of Fame can overlook them. Wiley has made McCormick’s induction into the Hall a mission; and on this episode of Sports’ Forgotten Heroes, Jay joins the podcast to talk about why McCormick deserves to be inducted and have a plaque hanging in the Hall … and he has the numbers to back it up.
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