Now-a-days pitchers throw much harder than in the past and with far more breaking pitches, which put a lot of tortion on the ligaments. The result is young pitchers getting injured frequently. We've seen many pitchers in our era need Tommy John before they even reach their professional careers (Humberto Sanchez, Andrew Brackman), while others have needed the surgery near the beginning of their careers (Kerry Wood, Anibal Sanchez, Francisco Liriano). With this thought, I would like to call our attention to the good ole days of baseball, when "inning limits" was a derogatory term used to insult the Germans in World War I. A time before surgery could extend your career, when players made the same on the ball field as they would in the factories, starting a game meant pitching 9 innings twice during a double header, and rest between starts was measured in hours not days. From this era I would like to present to you all the great Will White.
Some may remember Will White as the pitcher who started his career with the Boston Red Caps, throwing 27 innings in 1877 at the age of 22, but others will surely remember him for the career he made for himself with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, where he spent the majority of his career with the exception of one season that he played for the Detroit Wolverines. White holds certain distinctions including being the first pitcher to wear glasses on the field (Phil Hughes has White to thank for starting this trend), and for throwing the most complete games in a season (He threw 75 complete games in 1879). After throwing 27 innings for the Boston Red Caps, White showed his disdain for inning limits by throwing 468 innings the very next year, which was about 411 innings more than his inning limit would allow. He then threw 680 innings the next season on his quest to be the first to throw 700 innings in a season. Instead he became the first and only to throw 680 innings in a season. However, the sharp increase in innings wore on White who threw a mere 517.1 innings the next year. Because of his declined performance, White found himself headed to Detroit in 1881 where he would muster 18 innings in 2 game starts in his one season with the Wolverines. Many thought his pitching days were done, and everyone criticized his managers for letting him throw such an irresponsible amount of innings, but White would soon prove them wrong. He returned to the Red Stockings in 1882 and threw 480 and 577 innings the next two seasons. With his critics silenced, White went on to set a personal and team record by hitting 35 batters in 1886, all of whom likely deserved it. White retired in 1886 after 10 years of pitching, though in that time, he threw 3542.2 innings, about a 354.1 inning/year average. He finished with a 2.28 ERA a full 0.46 lower than the league average in that time. For this reason, Respect Jeter's Gangster has chosen to honor the Great Will White, and has sponsored his page at baseball-reference.com. The sponsorship should be reflected tomorrow.