Arthur Brown Bradsher (January 10, 1883 – January 27, 1951) was a college baseball player and tobacco businessman. He was a left-handed pitcher for the Trinity College (now Duke University) baseball team in the Deadball Era.[1] Bradsher was most notable for his 582 strikeouts, 15 shutouts, and five no-hitters achieved during his college career between 1901 and 1905.

Arthur Bradsher
Trinity College Baseball
Trinity College Baseball
Born: January 10, 1883
Roxboro, North Carolina
Died: January 27, 1951(1951-01-27) (aged 68)
Beaufort, North Carolina
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
1901, Trinity College
Last appearance
1905, Trinity College
Career statistics

Early years edit

Bradsher was born on January 17, 1883, in Roxboro, North Carolina. His father Charles E. Bradsher was a doctor, and died when Arthur was just four years old.[2] His mother Nancy Malone married O. T. Carver after Charles died.

Trinity College edit

Bradsher attended Trinity College from 1901 to 1905 and graduated cum laude. He received his master's degree in 1905. His thesis was entitled "Growing tobacco in the State of North Carolina."[3][4] He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega.

Tombs edit

In 1903, Bradsher was the principal founder of the Tombs, one of the strongest organizations on the Trinity/Duke campus from 1903 to 1942.[5] Its purpose was to promote Varsity and intramural athletics and to improve team sportsmanship and school spirit. Another objective was to firmly cement relations between Trinity and other schools in the field of sports. The Tombs morphed into the Varsity Club in 1945. It combined the strengths from both organizations. Bradsher returned to the campus often to council the Tombs organization.[6]

Baseball edit

Bradsher lettered five times at Trinity.[7]

Pitcher Arthur Bradsher

1902 edit

The Trinity College "strikeout king" first gained recognition after he pitched three shutouts in eight days in April 1902, striking out forty-three batters and allowing a total of three hits. The first was a nineteen-strikeout no-hitter against Wake Forest. He one-hit Guilford two days later, and carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning three days later again against Wake Forest.

1903 edit

His pitching record for his sophomore season was 7–2–1. In the 4–4 tie against Mercer he was called on for the only relief appearance of his career. He pitched six perfect no-hit innings striking out twelve Mercer batters. The game was called for darkness after twelve innings. Bradsher also led the Trinity team with a .354 batting average in 1903.

1904 edit

After beginning the 1904 season pitching two no-hitters and on his way to a third, Bradsher took himself out with a cut finger in the eighth inning against Guilford.[8] He threw with pinpoint control and led Trinity to the 1904 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) championship.. Bradsher won 13 games and lost only one while recording a 0.73 ERA. His WHIP average was 0.395. The four walks in 129 innings and in fourteen complete games is a record that still stands.

1905 edit

1905 Team

In 1905, Bradsher missed a perfect game against Mercer due to a miscue by his shortstop in the second inning of his no-hit, no walk, ten inning performance.[9] His twenty-two strikeouts in the game was a record that stood until 1965.[citation needed] The game of the year was the loss to Georgia Tech and pitcher Craig Day (dubbed "the greatest game played in Dixie" until the 1908 Nashville-New Orleans game).

John Heisman nicknamed Bradsher “King of the Southern Diamond.”[10] Heisman chose Bradsher as his premier player and captain for his All-Southern team. Heisman was quoted in the Atlanta Constitution: “This young man is beyond all questioning the most prominent player of the season. With most extraordinary ability as pitcher, he combines the advantages of being a good batter and base runner...And, I would have him captain of my team. He has the bearing of a gentleman, the forbearance of a true sportsman, and the ideal temperament of the fighting athlete, ever determined, never dismayed, always strong with a persistent smile to help out. As a captain, he would be a credit and ornament to any team.”[11]

Records edit

Bradsher struck out 15 batters on 10 occasions. Seven times he went to the mound and pitched no-hit ball. Five of those appearances were complete games.[n 1]

Bradsher holds 11 single season Duke pitching records: Most strikeouts in a single season (171), most wins in a single season (13), most innings pitched in a season (134), most games started (14), most complete games in a season (14), least hits given up per 9 innings (2.34), least walks per 9 innings (0.29), strikeout to walk ratio (42.75), whip (0.395), shutouts (5), and lowest ERA (0.0746). He holds nine career pitching records: Career games started (58), career wins (42), complete games (56), innings pitched (513), fewest hits per 9 innings (4.28), most career strikeouts (586), most career shutouts (15), most years lettered in a single sport (5) and most years serving as a team captain (3).[12] Bradsher has been added to the 2020 ballot for the Duke University Athletics Hall of Fame.[13]

Personal edit

On August 29, 1907, Bradsher married Elizabeth Chadwick Muse.[14] Four of their five children attended Duke University, His oldest son Charles was a chemistry professor at Duke for forty-five years. Twenty family members and descendants attended Duke University. A novel based on Bradsher, "King of the Southern Diamond" is scheduled to be published in mid-summer 2019.[15]

Tobacco career edit

After graduation from Trinity College, it was reported by Ted Mann, the publicist for Duke University, that Bradsher turned down an offer to play professional baseball in the amount of $10,000.[16] That would have been the highest price ever offered a player coming out of college.[citation needed] Instead he accepted a job in the tobacco industry, with American Tobacco Company.

In 1945, Bradsher retired from his position as vice president, at Imperial Tobacco in Montreal, Canada, to his 100-acre farm, Summerlea on the Neuse River near New Bern, North Carolina.[17][18]

Notes edit

  1. ^ The pitcher who holds the record for the most no-hitters is Nolan Ryan, who threw seven in his long major league career.

References edit

  1. ^ "Our History - Trinity College of Arts & Sciences". Archived from the original on 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  2. ^ Eugenia Bradsher. "A History of the Bradsher Family".
  3. ^ N.C.), Trinity College (Durham (1901). "Annual Catalogue of Trinity College (Durham, N.C.)". Trinity College. p. 124 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Bradsher, Arthur Brown (15 July 2018). "The Manufacture of Tobacco in North Carolina". Historical Society of Trinity College – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Tombs Staged A Dinner Last Night". Durham Morning Herald. April 7, 1922. p. 9. Retrieved July 15, 2018 – via  
  6. ^ "Arthur Bradsher, '04, Great Trinity Pitcher, Dies". Duke University Alumni Register. Durham, N.C. February 1951. p. 43.
  7. ^ Duke University 2018, p. 8
  8. ^ "Trinity Turns The Trick". The Durham Sun. May 11, 1904. p. 4. Retrieved July 15, 2018 – via  
  9. ^ "A Long Tie Game At Macon". Atlanta Constitution. April 8, 1905. p. 9. Retrieved July 15, 2018 – via  
  10. ^ Spence 1954, p. 33
  11. ^ "All-Southern Team 1905 Selected by J. W. Heisman". Atlanta Constitution. June 4, 1905. p. 3. Retrieved July 15, 2018 – via  
  12. ^ Duke University 2018, pp. 86–89
  13. ^ Duke University Hall of Fame Committee Art Chase
  14. ^ "Popular College Athlete Marries". Times Dispatch. September 2, 1907. p. 3.
  15. ^ "King of the Southern Diamond - Baseball, Duke University". Archived from the original on 2021-12-05. Retrieved 2022-06-25.
  16. ^ "King of Diamond Declined Pro Bid". The Daily Tribune. May 2, 1951. p. 10. Retrieved July 15, 2018 – via  
  17. ^ Duke University Alumni Register. Durham, N.C. February 1951. p. 43.
  18. ^ "Annual Report of Imperial Tobacco Company of Canada, Limited" (PDF). 1940.

Books edit

External links edit