Spitball pitcher Bill Doak enjoyed a 16-year big-league career that spanned from 1912-1929. Over that span, he threw 2,782 2/3 innings, and finished with a 2.98 earned run average. Twice he led the league in the category, posting a 1.72 ERA in 1914 and a 2.59 mark in 1921.
Doak reached the 20-win mark in 1920 and averaged 15 wins per season from 1914 through 1921. His 30 shutouts while pitching for the Cardinals ranks second on the St. Louis all-time leaderboard behind Hall of Fame hurler Bob Gibson.
Despite such a solid big league career, Doak is best remembered today for his innovation in baseball gloves.
In 1920 he suggested to Rawlings that they place a web in the position between the thumb and the index finger to form a pocket in which to catch the ball. The Bill Doak glove became the standard throughout the game. Doak earned more money through the sale of his innovative gloves than he did for playing baseball.
Doak’s autographs are not plentiful by virtue of his passing in 1954.