Bill Hutchison

From BR Bullpen

Bill Hutchison.jpg

William Forrest Hutchison
(Wild Bill)
Last name is often spelled Hutchinson

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

"The biggest casualty of the new pitching distance was Chicago's Wild Bill Hutchison, who dropped from a league-leading 37 wins and 316 strikeouts to a mark of 16-24 and 80 strikeouts." - from the book The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching, stating a common belief that Hutchison was the pitcher most hurt by the league moving the plate to 60 ' 6 " away from the pitcher in 1893

Wild Bill Hutchison (also spelled Hutchinson) pitched nine seasons in the majors, mostly in the National League. He led the league in victories three years in a row, 1890-92.

Hutchison was born in New Haven, CT and attended Yale University, also located in New Haven. He was the first future major leaguer to attend Yale, but later Yalies got to the majors first (in 1883 while he didn't come up till 1884).

After playing for Springfield in the Northwestern League in 1883, he came to the 1884 Union Association, appearing in two games for the 1884 Kansas City Cowboys. His 2.65 ERA was much better than the team's 4.05 ERA.

In spite of that, Hutchison didn't come back to the majors until 1889 at age 29. In both 1887 and 1888 he played for Des Moines. After going 23-10 in 1888, he came up in 1889 with the 1889 Chicago White Stockings.

After his three big seasons in 1890-92, he had below-.500 records in 1893-95. He then played several seasons for Minneapolis, coming back to the majors for a few games with the 1897 St. Louis Browns.

While sources typically attribute Hutchison's drop-off in 1893 to moving back the pitcher's mound, it is also true that Hutchison was 33 years old in 1893, far older than anyone else on the staff. The average age of the pitchers on the 1893 Chicago Colts was 25.3, and the three other most-utilized starters on the team were 19, 24 and 24. The top pitcher in the 1892 National League had been Cy Young, who at age 25 had tied Bill for the lead in victories with 36. Bill had had an ERA+ of 135 in 1890, dropping to 125 in 1891, and to 112 in 1892. It continued the same type of drop in 1893, going to 102. The next season, at age 34, it dropped to 94, until it rebounded up to 108 in 1895 before he went to the minors in 1896. So the moving back of the mound may have had some effect, but clearly his ability was also diminishing with age.

The similarity scores method shows his contemporary Brickyard Kennedy as the most similar pitcher, although Kennedy's victories were more spread out than Hutchison's. A pitcher who comes to mind but is not on the list is a later Chicago pitcher, Iron Man McGinnity, who also became a regular when he was nearly 30. McGinnity is not on the list because he lasted longer, getting more wins than Hutchison or Kennedy.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 3-time NL Wins Leader (1890-1892)
  • 3-time NL Games Pitched Leader (1890-1892)
  • NL Saves Leader (1890)
  • 3-time NL Innings Pitched Leader (1890-1892)
  • NL Strikeouts Leader (1892)
  • 3-time NL Complete Games Leader (1890-1892)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1890-1892)
  • 30 Wins Seasons: 3 (1890-1892)
  • 40 Wins Seasons: 2 (1890 & 1891)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 7 (1889-1895)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1889-1893)
  • 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1890-1892)
  • 500 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1890-1892)
  • 600 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1890 & 1892)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 3 (1890-1892)
  • 300 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (1892)

Related Sites[edit]