Silver King (baseball)

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Silver King
Charles 'Silver' King (baseball card).jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1868-01-11)January 11, 1868
St. Louis, Missouri
Died: May 21, 1938(1938-05-21) (aged 70)
St. Louis, Missouri
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 28, 1886 for the Kansas City Cowboys
Last MLB appearance
August 19, 1897 for the Washington Senators
Career statistics
Win-Loss record 203-154
Earned run average 3.18
Strikeouts 1,229
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • American Association wins champion (1888)
  • American Association ERA champion (1888)
  • Player's League ERA champion (1890)

Silver King (January 11, 1868 – May 21, 1938), born Charles Frederick Koenig in St. Louis, Missouri, was a Major League Baseball player from 1886 through 1897.

In a 10-year career, spent primarily as a pitcher, King played for Jacksonville Illinois (1885) and St. Joseph Missouri in the Western League (1886), the Kansas City Cowboys (1886), St. Louis Browns (1887), Chicago Pirates (1890), Pittsburgh Pirates (1891), New York Giants (1892–93), Cincinnati Reds (1893), and Washington Senators (1896–97). The first part of King's nickname was a reference to the color of his hair, while the latter part was a translation of his German surname.

King was an unusual pitcher for his time. Gripping the ball with unusually large hands, he delivered the ball without a windup. He also was one of the first pitchers in major league history to employ a sidearm delivery. The unconventional methods worked, as he went on to pitch 3,19023 innings, winning 203 games with 1229 strikeouts and a 3.18 earned run average in 397 games. His strong fastball enabled him to become a notable strikeout artist; he finished among the league's top 10 in that category six times.

King's best season came in 1888, when he led the Browns to their second consecutive American Association championship. That year, King led the league with 58523 innings pitched in 66 games, 45 wins, and a 1.64 ERA. In 1890, he jumped to Chicago of the Players League and added another ERA title while winning 30 games. On June 21, 1890, King threw a no-hitter for Chicago, the only one in the league's one-year history. (King lost 1–0, and pitched only eight innings in the loss, so this game is not officially recognized by MLB as a no-hitter.)

After baseball, King returned to his native St. Louis. He died in 1938, at age 70, and was laid to rest at New St. Marcus Cemetery in St. Louis.

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