Jim McCormick

From BR Bullpen

(Redirected from Jim McCormick (mccorji01))

Jim McCormick.jpg

James McCormick

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10½", Weight 215 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Jim McCormick won 265 games over a ten year career and was one of baseball's top pitchers of the 1880s. However, despite his lofty numbers, he is not a member of the Hall of Fame.

Born in Scotland, McCormick moved to Paterson, NJ at a young age, and replaced Ted "The Only" Nolan as the top pitcher on the semi-pro Paterson Olympic team in the 1870s. He began his professional career in 1877 with the Columbus Buckeyes of the International Association. The next year, 1878, he reached the majors with the Indianapolis Blues of the National League, but the team folded after one season. He then joined the Cleveland Blues as a player and manager in 1879. He lost a league-leading 40 games in his first year with Cleveland, but the next summer, he won a league-high 45, posted a 1.85 ERA, and paced the NL with 72 complete games as his club came in third. After stepping down as manager, he won an NL-best 36 games in 1882, and the next year, he led the circuit with a 1.84 ERA.

During the 1884 season, McCormick jumped to the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds of the Union Association for $2,500. He won 40 games between the two clubs and paced the UA with a 1.54 ERA. The circuit folded, however, after the season, and he had to pay a $1,000 fine to return to the NL. He began 1885 with the Providence Grays but was sold to the Chicago White Stockings in early July. He went on to throw 5 complete games in that fall's World Series against the St. Louis Browns of the American Association. He won 31 games for Chicago in 1886 but was traded to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys prior to the 1887 season. He went 13-23 for Pittsburgh that year and then retired when the team tried to cut his pay.

McCormick won 265 lifetime games and four of the ten most similar players, according to the similarity scores method, are in the Hall of Fame. McCormick is not the pitcher with the most wins who is not in the Hall, however. His contemporary Bobby Mathews (who ended his career at the same time as McCormick in 1887) holds that honor with 297 victories. Mathews notched many of his wins in the National Association, however. Tony Mullane also had more victories than McCormick.

McCormick was the first Scot to play in Major League Baseball. Although he and his contemporary Hugh Nicol, the second player from Scotland, both played in the majors for ten years, they never were teammates; they both also became managers. In addition, McCormick umpired one National League game in 1885.


McCormick was the all-time leader in wins by a non-American pitcher until Ferguson Jenkins broke his mark almost a century later.

He started 40 games against Mickey Welch: no other pitchers have ever had as many starts against each other.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time League ERA Leader (1883/NL & 1884/UA)
  • 2-time NL Wins Leader (1880 & 1882)
  • NL Winning Percentage Leader (1883)
  • 2-time NL Games Pitched Leader (1880 & 1882)
  • 3-time NL Complete Games Leader (1880-182)
  • UA Shutouts Leader (1884)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 8 (1879-1886)
  • 30 Wins Seasons: 4 (1880, 1882, 1884 & 1886)
  • 40 Wins Seasons: 2 (1880 & 1884)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 9 (1879-1887)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 8 (1879-1884, 1886 & 1887)
  • 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1879-1882 & 1884)
  • 500 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1879-1882 & 1884)
  • 600 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1880)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 3 (1880, 1882 & 1884)
  • 300 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (1884)

Further Reading[edit]

  • John Zinn: "A Stepping Stone to the Majors: The Olympic Base Ball Club of Paterson, 1874-76", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 52 Number 1 (Spring 2023), pp. 86-95.

Related Sites[edit]

This manager's article is missing a managerial chart. To make this person's article more complete, one should be added.