A Dozen Things You Should Know About George McQuillan

George McQuillan with the Phillies

George McQuillan with the Phillies

Another of the players on my fantasy team that I’ve been looking into is George McQuillan. Here’s a brief look at him.

1. George Watt McQuillan was born in 1885 in Brooklyn, the first generation son of Irish immigrants.

2. The family moved to Paterson, New Jersey where he finished high school, worked as an electrician for the Edison Company, and played minor league baseball.

3. In 1907, he was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as a right-handed pitcher. He went 4-0 with an ERA of 0.66.

4. His career year was 1908. He was 23-17, had an ERA of 1.53, seven shutouts, 114 strikeouts, a 157 ERA+, and racked up 9.4 WAR.

5. He spent the offseason in the Cuban Winter League. His team folded, he got sick (the specific sickness is in dispute, ranging from jaundice to venereal disease to alcoholism), and returned to the US.

6. He was 13-16 in 1909, and if the alcoholism wasn’t already a problem, began drinking too much during the season. It led to bad numbers and to a divorce. He improved a little in 1910, but the drinking was still a problem. That got him sent to Cincinnati.

7. Late in 1910 he checked into a Hot Springs, Arkansas hospital and was diagnosed with second stage syphilis (the venereal disease seems most likely as the Cuban era problem). The Reds picked up the bill, and during treatment McQuillan reconciled with his wife.

8. This led to one of the more strange episodes in McQuillan’s career. He bought $270 in jewelry for his wife from a local jeweler (a peace offering maybe?). He didn’t have the cash so credit was arranged. It took two years for the jeweler to get his money. He had to appeal to the National League in order to have McQuillan’s check garnished.

9. Whether he was well or not, or an alcoholic, or both, George McQuillan was never again the same pitcher. He spent 1912 in the minors, then returned to the NL with the Pirates. He had a couple of winning seasons, but was never again the team “ace.” In 1915 he was traded back to the Phils where he helped them (4-3 with a 2.12 ERA) to a pennant. He did not pitch in the World Series, which Philadelphia lost 4 games to 1.

10. His last big league year was 1918. His career record is 85-89 with an ERA of 2.38 (ERA+ of 113), and 21.5 WAR. His career 1.79 ERA while in Philadelphia is still first among Phillies pitchers.

11. He remained in the minor leagues through 1924 and retired.

12. After baseball he managed a furniture warehouse in Columbus, Ohio and died in May 1940.




One Response to “A Dozen Things You Should Know About George McQuillan”

  1. wkkortas Says:

    I think thing number #13 is that a teammate should think long and hard before joining ol’ George for a night out.

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