Silver King (baseball)

Silver King (January 11, 1868 – May 21, 1938), born Charles Frederick Koenig in St. Louis, Missouri, was a Major League Baseball player from 1886 through 1897.

Silver King
Silver King, St. Louis Browns, baseball card portrait LCCN2008675143.jpg
1888 baseball card of King
Born: (1868-01-11)January 11, 1868
St. Louis, Missouri
Died: May 21, 1938(1938-05-21) (aged 70)
St. Louis, Missouri
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 28, 1886, for the Kansas City Cowboys
Last MLB appearance
August 19, 1897, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Win–loss record203-152
Earned run average3.18
Career highlights and awards
  • American Association wins champion (1888)
  • American Association ERA champion (1888)
  • Player's League ERA champion (1890)

In a 10-year career, spent primarily as a pitcher, King played for the Kansas City Cowboys (1886), St. Louis Browns (1887–89), Chicago Pirates (1890), Pittsburgh Pirates (1891), New York Giants (1892–93), Cincinnati Reds (1893), and Washington Senators (1896–97). The first part of King's nickname was a reference to the color of his hair, while the latter part was a translation of his German surname.

King was an unusual pitcher for his time. Gripping the ball with unusually large hands, he delivered the ball without a windup. He was also one of the first pitchers in major league history to employ a sidearm delivery. The unconventional methods worked, as he went on to pitch 3,19023 innings, winning 203 games with 1229 strikeouts and a 3.18 earned run average in 397 games. His strong fastball enabled him to become a notable strikeout artist; he finished among the league's top 10 in that category six times.

King's best season came in 1888, when he led the Browns to their fourth consecutive American Association championship. That year, King led the league with 58523 innings pitched in 66 games, 45 wins, and a 1.64 ERA. In 1890, he jumped to Chicago of the Players' League and added another ERA title while winning 30 games. On June 21, 1890, King threw a no-hitter for Chicago, the only one in the league's one-year history. (King lost 1–0, and pitched only eight innings in the loss, so this game is not officially recognized by MLB as a no-hitter.)

After baseball, King returned to his native St. Louis. He died in 1938, at age 70, and was buried at New St. Marcus Cemetery in St. Louis.

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