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King Cole (baseball)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

King Cole
Born: (1886-04-15)April 15, 1886
Toledo, Iowa, U.S.
Died: January 6, 1916(1916-01-06) (aged 29)
Bay City, Michigan, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
October 6, 1909, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
September 20, 1915, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record54–27
Earned run average3.12
Career highlights and awards

Leonard Leslie "King" Cole (April 15, 1886 – January 6, 1916) was an American professional baseball player in the early 20th century. He started his baseball career as a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1909.

With the 1910 Cubs, Cole had a record of 20–4 and helped the team win the National League pennant. On July 31 of that season, he pitched all seven innings in a 4–0 Cubs win over the St. Louis Cardinals, without giving up a hit.[1] It was the second game of a doubleheader: the teams had agreed to end the game at 5 p.m. so they could catch their trains.[2] Due to a 1991 change to the official MLB definition of a no-hitter—it must last at least nine innings—Cole's effort is not recognized by as a no-hitter by MLB.[2]

Cole's 20–4 record in 1910 was the third-best single-season winning percentage (.833) for a Cubs pitcher in the 20th century.[3]

Cole's career went into a slump around 1912, and he developed a reputation for inventing excuses for his poor performance. Ring Lardner (who reputedly gave him his nickname "King") allegedly used the personality trait of Cole's as inspiration for the 1915 short story Alibi Ike, about a baseball player who "never pulled a play, good or bad, on or off the field, without apologizin' for it."[4]

Cole was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in May 1912, did not play in the major leagues in 1913, then played for the New York Yankees in 1914 and 1915.[5] On October 2, 1914, Cole gave up a double to Babe Ruth, then a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, for Ruth's first hit in the major leagues.[6]

At the opening of the 1915 season, Cole was diagnosed with lung cancer, and was told the disease was terminal and that he had only months to live. Cole had surgery to remove the cancerous tumor, and rejoined the Yankees in July, appearing in 10 games through the remainder of the season, going 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA. At the season's conclusion, the Yankees refused to renew Cole's contract due to the terminal diagnosis. The cancer reappeared in November, and Cole died at his home in Bay City, Michigan in January 1916.[7]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • WSH@PIT: Cole gets tossed after throwing behind Kang


See also


  1. ^ "Chicago Cubs 4, St. Louis Cardinals 0 (2)". Retrosheet. July 31, 1910. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Close, but no cigar – No-hitters not officially recognized by MLB". Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  3. ^ "Chicago Cubs Top 10 Single-Season Pitching Leaders". Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "King Cole – Society for American Baseball Research".
  5. ^ Retrosheet
  6. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (July 10, 2014). "Ten facts for 100th anniversary of the Babe's debut". Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  7. ^ "'King' Cole, Yank Pitcher Is Dead". The Washington Post. January 7, 1916. Retrieved January 4, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 December 2023, at 01:43
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