Elton Chamberlain

From BR Bullpen

Elton Chamberlain.jpg

Elton P. Chamberlain
(Ice Box)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 168 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

"Elton Chamberlain was the greatest ladies fascinator of any ball player I can recall. When he was playing in St. Louis it was a daily occurrence to find in his mail delicately perfumed notes from his soft admirers in the grand stand, among whom were a number of coy maidens, romantic and slightly indiscreet." - George Munson, secretary of the St. Louis club, reminiscing in Sporting Life in 1892


Elton "Ice Box" Chamberlain pitched 10 years in the majors, with a record of 157-120 and a 3.57 ERA in 321 games (264 complete games). Largely an American Association fixture, his biggest season was 1889, when he was 32-15 with a 2.97 ERA in 53 games for Chris von der Ahe's St. Louis Browns. From 1888-1890, he was always in the top 5 in the league in ERA. In 1888, split between the Louisville Colonels and St. Louis, he was an outstanding 25-11 with a 2.19 mark in 38 starts.

Elton had a go at ambidextrous pitching twice in his playing days. He alternated arms for four innings of a game on June 16, 1884 before he was in the major leagues. On May 9, 1888, he had a large lead against the Kansas City Cowboys and pitched the last two innings left-handed, giving up no runs.

On May 6, 1892, Chamberlain and John Clarkson pitched a 14-inning scoreless tie between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Beaneaters. The game was called at that point, due to the "angle of the sun". According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the "decision, while it may appear ridiculous on the face of it, was, strange to relate, a just and sensible one." On May 30, 1894, Chamberlain pitched a complete game for the Reds in which he lost, 20-11. Not only did Chamberlain give up all 20 runs, but he allowed four home runs that day by Bobby Lowe, who became the first man to hit four home runs in a game.

A construction contractor in Missouri built and named a bunch of railway stations after the names of players on the Browns. Thus, Chamberlain had a station named after him. The station named after player Doc Bushong eventually became the name of the town around the station.

Sporting Life routinely referred to him as "Elton" rather than "Ice Box". An issue in 1904 stated that his brother, F. Earl Chamberlain, had become an umpire in the Pacific Coast League. Elton himself umpired two games in the AA, in 1887 and 1891, and one in the National League in 1894.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AA Shutouts Leader (1890)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 3 (1888, 1889 & 1891)
  • 30 Wins Seasons: 1 (1889)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 7 (1887-1893)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1887-1889, 1891 & 1892)
  • 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1889, 1891 & 1892)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 2 (1889 & 1891)


Related Sites[edit]