Charles H. Getzien
commonly misspelled Getzein
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 172 lb.
- Debut August 13, 1884
- Final Game July 19, 1892
- Born February 14, 1864 in Germany
- Died June 19, 1932 in Chicago, IL USA
Pitcher Charlie "Pretzels" Getzien was one of the better pitchers of the late 1880s and won 145 games over 9 seasons in the major leagues.
The obituary of Ed Gastfield indicates that Charlie and Ed began play in the Chicago City League, and then both went off to Grand Rapids and later Detroit.
Getzien began his pro career with Grand Rapids of the Northwestern League in 1883. After going 14-12 in his first year, he went 27-4 in 1884 with the club before joining the Detroit Wolverines late in the year. After going 12-15 with a 3.03 ERA for Detroit in 1885, he improved to 30-11 in 1886, despite his earned run average staying exactly the same. The next summer, 1887, he won 29 games and led the National League with a .690 winning percentage, on a Wolverines team which won the pennant and featured the Big Four as well as Sam Thompson. In that year's postseason series, he went 4-2 in 6 outings against the St. Louis Browns.
After a 19-25 season in 1888, Getzien's contract was sold to the Indianapolis Hoosiers. His ERA jumped to 4.54 in 1889, and he missed the last few weeks of the season with an arm injury. He bounced back to win 23 games with the Boston Beaneaters in 1890, but after stints with the Cleveland Spiders and St. Louis Browns, he was out of baseball before his 29th birthday. He umpired one National League game in 1890. In 1892 he pitched in the Chicago City League, completing the circle.
Getzien was sufficiently famous for his curve ball that in 1886 the Scientific American magazine published a text by Henry Chadwick explaining that the curve ball was in fact real, after a newspaper published an article arguing that his curve was all in the imagination of the batters and fans.
Getzien has, through 2010, more wins (145) than any other pitcher born in Germany.
Following his baseball career, Getzien worked as a typesetter for the Chicago Tribune. He died in 1932 after suffering a heart attack.
- NL Winning Percentage Leader (1887)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1886, 1887 & 1890)
- 30 Wins Seasons: 1 (1886)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1885-1890)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1885-1890)
- 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1888)
- 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (1888)
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