Freddie Fitzsimmons broke in with John McGraw’s New York Giants in 1925 and was effective from the start. He posted a 6-3 record with a 2.65 ERA in ten games. Fitz’s rookie season included six complete games and a shutout.
Standing at 5’11”, Fitzsimmons weighed 215 pounds or more during his career. The portly righthander’s first 13 years came with the Giants with whom he appeared in two World Series.
A knuckleballer by trade, he posted double-digit win totals each season from 1926-1934. He averaged more than 16 wins per year during the run. In 1933 Fitz’s 35 starts led the league. That year he went 16-11 with a 2.90 ERA to help crown the Giants champions of baseball.
Fitzsimmons suffered an arm injury in 1935, limiting him to 15 starts. It was the first time since his rookie season that he made less than 35 starts. Despite this, he tied for the NL lead with four shutouts.
On June 11, 1937 the Giants traded him to Brooklyn for whom he spent his final seven seasons. His Dodger highlights included a 16-2 campaign in 1940 that resulted in a top-5 finish in MVP voting. The following season the portly righthander helped Brooklyn reach the World Series.
Fitzsimmons’ big league playing career came to an end when the Dodgers released him in July of ’43. According to Baseball Reference similarity scores the three pitchers most closely matching Fitz are in the Hall of Fame. Each of the ten most-similar pitchers are 200-game winners.
In the collection is this index card signed by 217-game winner Fred Fitzsimmons.