Frank Rudderham

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Francis F. Rudderham

  • Height 6' 0"

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Biographical Information[edit]

Frank Rudderham was a major league umpire as well as a minor league umpire and minor league player. His brother John Rudderham played in the majors. As a player he competed from 1891-1903.

Rudderham debuted with Portland in the 1891 New England League. He split 1892 between two clubs in that circuit and pitched in 1893 in both the New England League and Eastern League (10-8, 2.93 for the Providence Clamdiggers). In 1894, he was one of three regular starters for a Providence team that won the EL title - his moundmates were Jim Sullivan (between big league stints) and Rip Egan (fresh from his only major league appearance).

In 1895 he went 21-11 with a 2.64 ERA for the Providence Grays; he was one of three Providence hurlers to win 20 (along with Tom Lovett and George Hodson) but the team finished second to the Springfield Ponies. In 1896, Providence won its second title in three years, with Rudderham's 25 games pitched second on the club to Hodson. Frank fell to 8-12, 2.51 in his fifth year with Providence as the team's 4th pitcher. In 1898, he ended his long stint with that city by going 6-10 for a team just under .500.

In 1899 he was 26-9 with the Rome Romans, dropping to the lesser New York State League from the top ranks of the minors. He walked just 48 in 291 innings and led the league in wins - while not the EL, this was no mean feat as over a dozen former or future big leaguers were active in the NYSL. He remained with the Romans in 1900-1901 (in which he also pitched for the Albany Senators). In 1902, he was with Albany and the Memphis Egyptians. He closed out his pitching career with Albany in 1903.

He was a National League umpire starting at the end of the 1907 season and in 1908. He also coached the University of Maine team in 1902 and 1904-05 (and possibly 1903).

The SABR biography of Joe Connolly says that Frank thought highly of Connolly's work in the New England League and recommended him to the manager of the higher profile Little Rock team.

"Young Frank Rudderham, of Lowell, is doing the best work of any New England League pitcher." - Sporting Life, June 18, 1892

"During my long service in the Eastern and New York Leagues, I have never known what it is to be afflicted with a sore arm. All I use in any trouble is skunk oil." - Frank Rudderham, quoted in Sporting Life, Dec. 5, 1903

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