Leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts is no small feat. Since the National League was founded in 1876, just 16 hurlers have done so to earn the pitching Triple Crown.
Tim Keefe is one of five twirlers to accomplish the feat in the 19th century. Keefe’s 1888 season was masterful. He posted league-leading totals in wins (35), ERA (1.74), strikeouts (335), shutouts (8), WHIP (0.937).
The third NL pitcher to capture the pitching crown, Keefe was preceded only by Tommy Bond (1877), and Hoss Radbourn (1884).
Shown here is the the sterling silver lifetime pass issued to Bond. A serious candidate for Cooperstown, Bond is the only man to tally three consecutive 40-win seasons. He finished his career with 234 victories and a 2.14 ERA.
Cy Young earned the first pitching triple crown in AL history; Tommy Bond was first in NL
In the American League’s inaugural season Cy Young topped all hurlers in wins (33), ERA (1.62), and strikeouts (158). By doing so, he became the Junior Circuit’s first winner of the pitching triple crown.
Though it was the AL’s first, the National League already had five such seasons under its belt. Before Cy’s performance, Tommy Bond earned the first NL crown in 1877 followed by Old Hoss Radbourn (1884), Tim Keefe (1888), John Clarkson (1889), Amos Rusie (1894).
Shown here is Tommy Bond’s lifetime pass to all big league games.
A great piece. Tim Keefe is my favorite 19th-century pitcher.