Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday School: History Lesson 15

Charles "Chick" Fraser was a right handed starting pitcher for the Phillies from 1899-1900, then again from 1902-1904. He made his major league debut in 1896 for the Louisville Colonels.

Fraser struggled in his playing days, prior to the Phillies, posting a 36-66 overall record. Following the 1898 season, the Phillies purchased Chick Fraser from the Cleveland Spiders for the price of $1,000. That contract purchase would prove to be a great steal for the Phillies when the generally wild Fraser, who led the NL in walks in 1896, won 21 games in 1899 with four shutouts. In 1900, Chick won 16 games and led the team in ERA.

Fraser left the Phillies to play for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901. Fraser would then lead the American League in walks, but won 22 games for the A's. Chick Fraser is the only pitcher to win 20 games for both the Phillies and the Athletics. A successful legal challenge by the Phillies, over Fraser's departure, would return Fraser, who left for a larger paycheck, to his first Philadelphia team.

Chick Fraser would not produce another winning season for the Phils over his next three seasons with the team. However, Fraser would make his mark in team history. Fraser threw the first no hitter of the 20th century for our Phillies. On September 18th, 1903, Chick threw a no hitter against the Cubs in a 10-0 rout, where he walked 5.

A 14-24 record in 1904 marked the end of Fraser's playing time for Philadelphia. He went on to lead the NL in walks the following season for Boston, while losing 21 games. With Cincinnati in 1906, he lost 20 more games, then managed to stick around with the Cubs, for their World Championship seasons in 1907 and 1908, before his playing days were done.

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