Jack Quinn (baseball)
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July 1, 1883|
|Died: April 17, 1946
|April 15, 1909, for the New York Highlanders|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 7, 1933, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Earned run average||3.29|
|Career highlights and awards|
John Picus "Jack" Quinn, born Joannes (Jan) Pajkos (July 1, 1883 – April 17, 1946), was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. Quinn pitched for eight teams in three major leagues (the American, Federal, and National) and made his final appearance at the age of 50.
Born in Stefuró, Hungary (modern-day Štefurov, Slovakia), Quinn emigrated to America as an infant with his parents Michael Pajkos and Maria Dzjiacsko, arriving in New York on June 18, 1884. His mother died near Hazleton, Pennsylvania, shortly after the family's arrival in the US, and Quinn's father moved the family to Buck Mountain, near Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. In 1887 Quinn's father remarried, to Anastasia ("Noska") Tzar.
Quinn spent his early years working as a swimmer and blacksmith, while playing recreational ball for mining teams. He got his start as a professional in an unusual way. While watching a semi-pro game in Connellsville, the 14-year-old Quinn threw a foul ball back from the stands to the catcher, hitting his mitt right in the middle. The visiting manager, from the nearby town of Dunbar, was impressed by the throw, and he offered Quinn a contract.
Quinn went on to spend 23 seasons in the major leagues with eight different teams. He won 247 games and lost 218 games, also collecting 57 saves. Quinn debuted on April 15, 1909 and he played until he was 50 years old; his final game was on July 7, 1933. Quinn's professional longevity enabled him to achieve several age-related milestones. He was the oldest Major League player to win a game until Jamie Moyer broke the record on April 17, 2012. Quinn is also the oldest to lead his league in a major category (saves, in 1932—although saves were unknown in that era, and were only retroactively awarded in 1969). He is furthermore the oldest pitcher to start games in the World Series (with the Philadelphia Athletics, in 1929) and on Opening Day (with the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1931). He was the oldest to hit a home run in the majors, at age 46, until 47-year-old Julio Franco did so in 2006. He was the oldest person to ever play for the Cincinnati Reds, and at the time of his retirement, the eight teams for which he had played also constituted a record, which has since been broken. He was also the last major leaguer who had played in the 1900s decade to formally retire (not counting Charley O'Leary, who in 1934 made a comeback stint). Quinn is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date who have appeared in a Major League game in four decades. Finally, he remains the oldest player to play regularly, having pitched 87 1⁄3 innings in 1932 at age 48 and 49, and 15 innings in 1933 at age 49 and 50. (Franco and Phil Niekro were also regular players at age 48, but were one and five months younger respectively during their seasons at that age.)
During his career, Quinn played alongside 31 different members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and collected two World Series rings in three tries. He was also one of the last pitchers in baseball permitted to throw the spitball, grandfathered in along with sixteen others reliant on the pitch when it was banned in 1920. He frequently used his spitball after he was grandfathered in, in addition to his fastball, curve, and changeup.
In 2006, Jack Quinn was inducted posthumously into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. 
Quinn died in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, at the age of 62.
- Kashatus (2002), p. 103.
- "Jamie Moyer becomes oldest pitcher to win game in majors as Rockies hold off Padres". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 17, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- Kashatus (2002), p. 105.
- List of Major League Baseball career wins leaders
- List of Major League Baseball all-time saves leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual saves leaders
- List of Major League Baseball players who played in four decades
- List of Major League Baseball career hit batsmen leaders
- Kashatus, William C. (2002). Diamonds in the Coalfields: 21 Remarkable Baseball Players, Managers, and Umpires from Northeast Pennsylvania. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-1176-4.
- Scott, E. Michael D. (2008). "John 'Jack Quinn' Picus: Not Polish, Not Welsh, and Not Born in America at All." NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, vol 16, no. 2, pp. 93–106; see also http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/nine/v016/16.2scott.html.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jack Quinn (baseball).|
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- The Deadball Era
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