Jack Taylor Essentials

Positions: Pitcher
Bats: Right  Throws: Right
Height: 5′ – 10″  Weight: 170
Born: December 13, 1873 in New Straitsville, OH USA
Died: March 4, 1938 in Columbus, OH USA
Debut: September 25, 1898 
Last Game: September 2, 1907
Full Name: John William Taylor

He made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs on September 25, 1898. His best years as a pitcher were 1900 (2.55 earned run average), 1902 (1.33 ERA with 7 shutouts; #1 in the league), 1903 (2.45 ERA), and 1906 (1.99 ERA). His career average was 2.66 ERA.

In the fall of 1903, Cubs’ owner James A. Hart and White Sox owner Charles Comiskey agreed to play a 15-game series between the two teams in the Windy City. Despite the animosity between the established Cubs and the upstart Sox, the series debuted on October 1, with Jack Taylor on the mound for the Cubs. The National League team pounded their crosstown rivals, 11-0, at West Side Grounds. Despite his success in that first game, Taylor was shelled in his next three starts against the White Sox, losing 10-2, 9-3, and 4-2. When the players’ contracts expired on the 15th, the series was halted with each team having earned seven victories. Rumors swirled about the series, with Hart accusing Taylor of having “laid down” against the Sox in his last three starts. In December, Taylor was traded to the Cardinals for catcher Jack O’Neill and pitcher Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown. he was then traded back to Chicago on July 1906 (in return for Fred Beebe and Pete Noonan).

In 1904, Taylor set a major league record by pitching 39 consecutive complete games. Taylor achieved one of the most remarkable pitching records of the 20th century: For five years, from June 20, 1901, to August 9, 1906, he was never once relieved in a game. During the span, he started and completed 187 games, including one 19-inning and one 18-inning affair, and finished 15 in relief of others. On one occasion he pitched both ends of a doubleheader. Thus Taylor appeared in 202 consecutive games without being relieved himself.

Thus he was part of the wonderful team of the 1906 Cubs; that year the ERA for the entire pitching staff was 1.76. He also contributed to the World Series-winning season in 1907.

Retiring from baseball after the 1913 season, Jack returned to Ohio and settled in Murray City where he worked as a coal miner until his health failed. The former “iron man” died at age 64 on March 4, 1938, at White Cross Hospital in Columbus, where he was being treated for cancer.