Cooperstown Chronicles - Larry Corcoran

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IMay 14, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

3rd Stone From the Sun, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile Larry Corcoran .  Here are my findings.

The Numbers
Played 1880-1887 (8 Years)
277 Games
268 Starts
2392.3 Innings
177 Wins - 89 Losses
.665 Winning Percentage (16th All-time)
256 Complete Games (72nd All-time)
22 Shutouts
2 Saves
2.36 ERA (2.90 League ERA) (22nd All-time)
1.105 WHIP
1103 Ks
3 No-hitters


Top Ten Finishes

Wins - Five Times (Led league in 1881)
ERA - Five Times (Led league in 1882)
Strikeouts - Five Times (Led league in 1880)
Winning % - Six Times (Led league in 1882)
Games - Five Times
Innings - Five Times
Starts - Five Times
Complete Games - Five Times
Shutouts - Five Times
Saves - Once

This is a tough one.  For five years he was well on his way.  He was among the leaders in every pitching category.  He averaged a 34-17 record (.667).  He won 27+ games five times, 31+ four times, and 43 in his rookie season.  He pitched 355+ Innings five times, 396+ Innings four times, and 500+ Innings twice.  He was one of a handful of pitchers who threw with both arms in a game.  He was the first pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters.  He finished with three, which stood until 1965 when Sandy Koufax broke it.  He played for the Chicago White Stockings, New York Giants, Washington Nationals, and the Indianapolis Hoosiers.  Excellence wasn’t a problem with Corcoran. Longevity was.  He exploded on the scene for five amazing seasons and then he basically disappeared.  His HOF Monitor is 122.  By their standards 100 gets you in.  When drawing comparisons by age he’s linked to Doc Gooden (when he was 20 and brilliant), Hall of Famer Kid Nichols (from age 21-23), Hall of Famer John Ward (24), Bob Caruhters (25), Hall of Famer John Clarkson (26), and Hall of Famer Chief Bender (27).  He was credited as being the first pitcher to use signals with a catcher by shifting his chewing tobacco to indicate what pitch he was throwing.  Now I’m not comparing him to Sandy Koufax, although in his era he was in the same neighborhood, but I do want to mention that Sandy Koufax had four unbelievable seasons and a couple more really good ones.  He had six average ones before his breakout in 1961.  Sandy was a lock for the Hall of Fame.  Yet all of these years later Larry Corcoran is still on the outside looking in.  Well, after much thought and deliberation, I have decided that Larry should join the likes of Sandy Koufax and the rest of the Hall of Famers in Cooperstown. 

Baseball Library

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren
Roger Maris
Lance Parrish
Mo Vaughn
Mark Grace
Dennis Martinez
Chuck Finley
Fred McGriff
Wes Parker
Steve Finley
Orlando Cepeda*
Albert Belle
Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Luis Gonzalez
Lefty O’Doul
Rocky Colavito
Boog Powell
Jerry Koosman
Mike Cuellar
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson*
Roberto Alomar
Dave Stieb
John Franco
Maury Wills
Sherry Magee
Phil Rizzuto*
Orel Hershiser
Frank Viola
David Cone
Dwight Gooden
Tim Raines
Bernie Williams
Barry Larkin
Pete Browning
Bobby Veach 

Tony Oliva
Harry Stovey

* signifies actual Hall of Famers


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