Red Donahue

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Red Donahue.jpg

Francis L. Donahue

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Biographical Information[edit]

"When Taylor was, in conjunction with others, traded to St. Louis for Donahue people wondered at the folly of Philadelphia giving up one of the most effective pitchers in the League . . . Red Donahue is worth a whole bunch of Taylors, as he is an honest, hard-working, conscientious pitcher . . ." - Sporting Life of September 10, 1898

Red Donahue pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues, winning 164 games. He won 20+ games three times.

Donahue went 10-35 with a 6.13 ERA for the 1897 St. Louis Browns. This set the modern record for losses in a season, which still stands. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason and on July 8, 1898, threw a no-hitter for the club, besting the Boston Beaneaters, 5-0.

He was the second player to come to the majors out of Villanova University. Major League Baseball Profiles: 1871-1900 lists him as coaching at Yale University and LaSalle University after his playing career ended.

Donahue was not a power pitcher, never coming close to leading his league in strikeouts. Sporting Life in 1911 referred to him as "the slow-armed pitcher". As Sporting Life of April 4, 1908 commented about Cy Young, referring to Donahue:

"Young is not a pitcher of the 'Red' Donahue, Clarke Griffith or Win Mercer style. He has always depended on his speed for success."

In a ddition to pitching in the majors, he played a few games in the outfield and also was an umpire. He worked three games in the National League in 1897, one the American League in 1903 and two more in the AL in 1906.

Red never managed in the majors, but Sporting Life in October 1904 stated that Cleveland fans were circulating petitions seeking to have Donahue named the manager the following season.

It was reported in 1904 that he and Harry Bay were looking to "buy a show". Donahue was said to be a premier mimic, and as a result wanted to be on the stage instead of running a cafe.

He died in 1913. A report that year said that he was in the hotel business and dying of consumption. His hotel was apparently popular with ballplayers - it was said in 1907 that when the Detroit team came to Philly, most of the players stayed at Donahue's hotel.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Complete Games Leader (1897)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 8 (1898-1904 & 1906)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1899, 1901 & 1902)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 10 (1896-1904 & 1906)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1897 & 1902)

Records Held[edit]

  • Losses, season (since 1893), 35, 1897
  • Losses, right-hander, season (since 1893), 35, 1897

Related Sites[edit]