Ted Lyons Stats & Facts

Ted Lyons

Position: Pitcher
Bats: Both  •  Throws: Right
5-11, 200lb (180cm, 90kg)
Born: December 28, 1900 in Lake Charles, LA
Died: July 251986 (Aged 85-209d) in Sulphur, LA
Buried: Big Woods Cemetery, Edgerly, LA
High School: Vinton HS (Vinton, LA)
School: Baylor University (Waco, TX)
Debut: July 2, 1923 (Age 22-186d, 5,298th in MLB history)
vs. SLB 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 SO, 0 BB, 0 ER
Last Game: May 19, 1946 (Age 45-142d)
vs. WSH 9.0 IP, 9 H, 3 SO, 1 BB, 3 ER, L
Hall of Fame: Inducted as Player in 1955. (Voted by BBWAA on 217/251 ballots)
View Ted Lyons’s Page at the Baseball Hall of Fame (plaque, photos, videos).
Full Name: Theodore Amar Lyons
Nicknames: Sunday Teddy
View Player Bio from the SABR BioProject

 

ted lyons

Ted Lyons was a hard-luck pitcher who won 260 games despite pitching for the Chicago White Sox, who posted a .447 winning percentage when he didn’t get the decision. After skipping the minor leagues to go directly to the bigs, he won at least 10 games 17 times, and reached 20 victories on three occasions. Lyons began his career as a teammate of Eddie Collins, who started his career in 1906, and ended it as a teammate of Dave Philley, who retired in 1962. Lyons threw a no-hitter against the Red Sox on August 21, 1926. Lyons never pitched in a World Series, but 21 seasons of yeoman work for the seldom-contending White Sox earned his 1955 election by the BBWAA to the Hall of Fame.

He attended Baylor University with plans for a law career, but his college pitching made him a sought-after prospect. Upon graduation in 1923, he turned down an offer from the A’s to sign with Chicago for $300 a month and a $1,000 bonus. He joined the team in St. Louis on July 2 and relieved in the first ML game he ever saw, retiring the three Browns he faced.

By the next season he was a regular starter, and in 1925 he led the AL in victories (21) for a fifth-place team and fired 5 shutouts. He repeated as AL win leader in ’27 and won 22 in 1930. In 1925-30, he averaged nearly 19 wins a season, although the White Sox never finished in the first division. Late in 1925, in the nightcap of a doubleheader between the White Sox and Senators that prompted the Washington Post to write, “…the less said about the game the better,” Ted Lyons came within an out of recording a no-hit game. Chicago won the game easily, 17-0, banging out 25 hits overall, while scoring seven runs in the second inning and eight in the fifth. Lyons, the Post recorded, “had the home hitters breaking their backs in unavailing efforts to solve his delivery.” With two outs in the ninth, Washington outfielder Bobby Veach delivered a “clean liner-single to right field” to break up Lyons no-no. In a wild contest, Washington manager Bucky Harris used 21 players, including seven pinch-hitters, in an effort to stem the tide. After the game, an apologetic Veach visited Lyons in the visitors clubhouse. “I knew Ted would want to earn a no-hit game if he did it at all, so I did my best, but believe me,” Veach said, “I’m mighty sorry things turned out that way.”

On August 21, 1926 he no-hit the Red Sox, winning 6-0

Then, in 1931, he injured his arm and lost his fastball. His manager, Donie Bush, pronounced his arm “dead.” But Lyons developed a knuckleball and was soon pitching effectively again. In 1936, he helped pitch the club to its first finish in the AL first division (third) since he had joined the team 14 years earlier.

His most important weapon was excellent control. Never a strikeout pitcher, he walked only 1,121 batters in 4,161 innings pitched over his career, and at one point in 1939 he hurled 42 consecutive innings without issuing a base on balls.

In 1939, White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes started to use Lyons, who was 38 years old, only on Sunday afternoons. to save his arm and to take advantage of Lyons’s tremendous popularity to draw large crowds. This pattern was maintained through the ’42 season, with the veteran starting 21, 22, 22 and 20 games each year. The veteran right-hander posted a fine 52-30 record for that span, with a 2.96 ERA (he led the AL in ERA at the age of 41 in 1942, with a 2.10 mark). Fans took to calling him “Sunday Teddy,” and belying his age, Lyons completed 72 of his 85 starts over those years.

In the fall of ’42, the 41-year-old lifelong bachelor joined the U.S. Marines, spending part of his three-year hitch in combat. In 1946 he returned to the White Sox and pitched five more complete games, winning only one, his 260th. Thirty games into the season he replaced Dykes as White Sox manager. His managerial record through 1948 was 185-245, with the main criticism being that he was too easy-going to enforce discipline. He later coached and scouted before retiring in 1966 to help his sister JO x x manage a Louisiana rice plantation.

Notable Events and Chronology for Ted Lyons Career


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