Robert Lee Caruthers ranks among the best all-time pitchers in winning percentage with a .688 mark over 9 seasons, 1884-1892. In his first 8 seasons, he won 216 games while only losing 89, averaging a 27-11 record. For 5 straight seasons, he won 29 or more games, winning 40 games in both 1885 and 1889. In his career, he started 310 games and 298 (or 96%) were complete games, including 24 shut-outs. His lifetime ERA (Earned Run Average) was 2.83 - better than most pitchers today.
R.L. was not only a pitcher, but a hitter as well. His best season was 1887, when he played in 98 games, hit .357 (6th in the league), hit 8 home runs (in the top 20 in that dead-ball era), stole 49 bases and had a slugging percentage of .547. When he wasn't pitching, he also played outfield, first base and second base.
Robert Lee Caruthers was born January 5, 1864 in Memphis, Tennessee. In his career, he played for St. Louis and Brooklyn in the American Association and St. Louis, Brooklyn, Chicago and Cincinnati in the National League. Known as a thinking pitcher, he observed batters' weaknesses and preyed upon them. His managerial career did not fare as well. His managerial record was 16-32 for St. Louis in the National League in 1892.
After the 1885 season, he vacationed in France where he negotiated his salary for the upcoming year via telegraph lines. Failing to show up for Spring Training, he wired from Paris, "Will report soon." The salary battle was settled when "Parisian Bob" accepted the huge sum of $3,200.
Bob died on August 5, 1911, in Peoria, Illinois.
Donald George Carrithers was born 15 Sep 1949 in Lynwood, California. He pitched from 1970-1977 for San Francisco Giants, Montreal Expos, and Minnesota Twins. For his 8 year career, he had a record of 28 wins and 32 losses, played in 165 games, started 67 games, and pitched 11 complete games of which 3 were shut-outs. His career earned run average was 4.46 over 565 innings, getting 275 strike-outs, and walking 267.
Don's greatest thrill was his first major league baseball shut-out, a 1-0 win over the Houston Astros September 4, 1971. In a minor league game, August 4, 1967, he struck out 17 Idaho Falls batters while pitching for Salt Lake City.
Clay pitched from 1994-1997 for minor league teams of the Cincinnati Redlegs. For his 4 year minor league career, he had a record of 31 wins and 31 losses, played in 95 games, started 88 games, and pitched 3 complete games of which none were shut-outs. His career earned run average was 4.65 over 497 innings, getting 347 strike-outs, and walking 189.