After my post yesterday on all-time durable pitchers, I emailed Fredrico Brillhart. Regular readers may remember that after I did a guest post on ballplayers who saw war combat, Brillhart emailed me wanting to know why there weren’t any Negro Leaguers. I figured he might like yesterday’s post, since my top durable pitcher is Satchel Paige, a Negro League immortal, and I was also curious if he knew of other players I had failed to mention.
Fredrico wrote back:
Here are some other additions for your list………..
27 year career in the Negro Leagues >Smokey Joe Williams,
John Donaldson [ I will have John’s leading researcher, Peter Gorton contact you ],
Will Jackman [ his leading bio person, Dick Thompson passed on awhile back, but I think you still can get info if you Google him ] Will was a barnstormer that pitched an incredible amount of games & at one time might have been the 2nd highest paid pitcher to Paige. He didn’t pitch as much in the Negro Leagues, since he was making more money by barnstorming.
See my > Waiting For Cooperstown All-Stars & the Analysis of The Pittsburgh Courier Poll pieces I had sent to you for some other insights, as most that I have brought up here have info there.
Charles “Lefty” Williams was a legend around the Pittsburgh semi-pro sandlots, plus he pitched 20 years for the Homestead Grays in the Negro Leagues, where he was not as effective vs League teams. He is credited with 540 total wins in his whole career including those semi-pro outings.
Massaichi ” Golden Arm ” Kaneda is the all-time wins leader in Japan with 400 wins. For 14 of his 20 year career he had over 300+ IP. In 1955 he had 400 IP. He also had 14 > 20+ win seasons there. His 5,526 & 2/3 innings pitched in Japan would be in 4th place in the Majors all-time. Take note, that in Japan the season is shorter so his massive innings pitched are even more impressive.
Ramon Arano pitched 30 years & won 421 games in Mexico, the most all-time there, adding summer & winter leagues.
Juan Pizzaro pitched 18 years in the Majors & 22 years in the Puerto Rican Winter League & had a combined total of 290 wins + 38 wins in the Mexican League & 66 wins in the Minors for a grand total of 394 wins in his career. What is amazing is that he pitched non stop summer & winters in the majority of his seasons.
Hippo Vaughn had a grand total of 401 wins as a pro combining his ML & Minor League numbers. 5 times in the ML he had 20+ win seasons.
With these additions I still think you are correct in saying that Satchel Paige was the most durable, even with his dead arm period.
I’ll close by saying that in the last week, I’ve received other great emails like this. In fact, a reader wrote yesterday to tell me he had mentioned my site in a column he wrote. That appears to be for a newspaper, which is a Baseball: Past and Present first.