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No. 83: Greatest Dodgers of All-Time: Bob Caruthers

Going back just a bit


Bob Caruthers

Time with Dodgers: 1888-1891

Stats: 110-51, 2.92 ERA, 175 G, 147 CG, 1,433 23 IP, 391 SO, 113 ERA+, 3.39 FIP, 1.22 WHIP

Baseball Reference WAR: 18.9

FanGraphs WAR: 13.0

Combined WAR: 15.95

Time to go back a bit. Any by back a bit, I mean all the way to the late 1800’s. Today we’ll be paying tribute to Bob Caruthers, who pitched for Brooklyn when they were known as the Bridegrooms.

Caruthers spent the first four seasons of his career in St. Louis before he went to Brooklyn. His first season was in 1888, and boy did he leave an impression with the team. He won 29 games while owning a 2.39 ERA. Caruthers made 43 starts and threw a complete game in all but one. Yup, 42 complete games in 43 starts. Ah, baseball was so different back then.

He threw just under 400 innings that season. In addition to his great ERA of 2.39, he also owned a 2.48 FIP, 0.996 WHIP and 126 ERA+.

How did Caruthers follow up his 1888 campaign? Oh, you know, by winning 40 games in 1889. Though his complete game percentage went down, he still had 46 complete games in 50 starts. I think that would do just fine today. His 40 wins were a league-high and his winning percentage of .784 was the best in baseball.

Over the next two seasons, Caruthers made fewer starts. He made only 33 in 1890 and only 32 in 1891. Nevertheless, he was still dominant. He won 41 games and threw 59 complete games. Yes, he threw far more complete games than he had wins. Again, baseball back then was just different. And by different, I mean awesome.

Here’s an excerpt from the Society for American Baseball Research:

Before the start of the 1888 baseball season Caruthers married Mary “Mamie” Danks. They received wedding gifts worth $4,000, at a time when the average worker in the United States earned less than $500 a year. Several Brooklyn players tied the knot that winter, so many in fact that sportswriters took to calling the team the Bridegrooms.

Here’s where Caruthers ranks in franchise history among pitchers who have thrown at least 750 innings:

  • 1,433 23 IP (22nd)
  • 147 complete games (9th)
  • 110 wins (20th)
  • .683 winning % (3rd)
  • 2.92 ERA (14th)
  • 3.39 FIP (34th)
  • 113 ERA+ (25th)

Get caught up on the rest of the “All-Time Dodgers” lists!