Born in 1856, Pud Galvin was one of early baseball’s most prolific winners. His first big league season came in 1875 with the St. Louis Brown Stockings of the National Association.
Galvin led the league in ERA his first year. In 1879 he moved to the National League’s Buffalo Bisons. In his seven seasons in Buffalo Galvin posted 218 wins.
His time with the Bisons was highlighted by back-to-back 46-win seasons in 1883 and ’84. The second of those seasons was historic. Galvin’s 72 appearances included 71 complete games, 12 shutouts and 369 strikeouts. The performance resulted in a still-standing single season record of 20.5 WAR.
In late-1888 Galvin became the first pitcher in baseball history to notch 300 wins.
When he retired after the 1892 season, Galvin he was the sport’s all time leader in wins, innings pitched, games started, games completed and shutouts. Today, more than a century after his death his 6,003 1/3 innings and 646 complete games are second only to Cy Young.
Galvin was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965.
Too bad Pud couldn’t walk into the owner’s office and say, “Let’s take a look at my 20.5 WAR.”