In the mid-1920s, Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitchers Carmen Hill and Lee Meadows made baseball history when they became the first two twirlers to wear glasses while on the mound. Their glasses must have helped since both notched 20 game winning seasons with the Bucs. In 1926 Meadows’ 20 victories led the National League and in 1927 Hill topped all hurlers with 22.
In May 1923, the Pirates traded for Meadows who won 88 games for the Corsairs until a nagging sinus infection and a sore arm forced his 1929 retirement.
Nicknamed “Specs,” the nearsighted Meadows ranks sixth on the All-Time Pirates list with his .629 winning percentage. Meadows, a pivotal part of the era’s National League dominating Pirates, appeared in the team’s two World Series, 1925 and 1927. During his 15 year career, Meadows won 188 games for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pirates.
Meadows most memorable baseball moment came with the Phillies when during the second game of a 1919 double header in the Polo Grounds against the New York Giants, he absorbed the 6-1 loss in baseball’s shortest ever nine inning game: 51 minutes.
Unfortunately for Meadows, despite his efficient pitching that day, he suffered his 20th set back. Meadows’ Giants’ opposite Jesse Barnes out pitched him to rack up his 25th win. Barnes’ pitching line: 9 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO.
The Giants prevailed in the nightcap, 7-1. The doubleheader had little significance in the standings. The Giants finished a distant 9 games behind the first place Reds; the Phillies ended up dead last with a 47-90 record, 47.5 games behind.
Meadows died in Daytona Beach in 1963 at age 68.
“Double the fun” is a Friday feature here that looks at one memorable doubleheader in baseball history each week.