- P, OF
- July 1, 1883
- 196 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-15-1909 with NYA
Quinn pitched for eight teams in three major leagues (the American, Federal, and National) and made his final appearance at the age of 50.
Born in Štefurov, Slovakia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), Quinn emigrated to America as an infant with his parents Michael Pajkos and Maria Dzjiacsko, arriving in New York on June 18, 1884. His mother died near Hazleton, Pennsylvania shortly after the family's arrival in the US, and Quinn's father moved the family to Buck Mountain, near Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. In 1887 Quinn's father remarried, to Anastasia ("Noska") Tzar.
Quinn spent his early years working as a swimmer and blacksmith, while playing recreational ball for mining teams. He got his start as a professional in an unusual way. While watching a semi-pro game in Connellsville, the 14-year-old Quinn threw a foul ball back from the stands to the catcher, hitting his mitt right in the middle. The visiting manager, from the nearby town of Dunbar, was impressed by the throw, and he offered Quinn a contract.
Quinn went on to spend 23 seasons in the major leagues with eight different teams. He won 247 games and lost 218 games, also collecting 57 saves. Quinn debuted on April 15, 1909 and he played until he was 50 years old; his final game was on July 7, 1933. Quinn's professional longevity enabled him to achieve several age-related milestones. He is the oldest ML player to win a game, to lead his league in a major category (saves, in 1932), and to start games in the World Series (with the Philadelphia Athletics, in 1929) and on Opening Day (with the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1931). He was the oldest to hit a home run in the majors, at age 46, until 47-year-old Julio Franco did so in 2006. He was the oldest person to ever play for the Cincinnati Reds, and at the time of his retirement, the eight teams for which he had played also constituted a record, which has since been broken. He was also the last major leaguer who had played in the 1900s decade to formally retire (not counting Charley O'Leary, who in 1934 made a comeback stint). Quinn is one of only 29 players in baseball history to date who have appeared in a Major League game in four decades. Finally, he remains the oldest player to play regularly, having pitched 87 1/3 innings in 1932 at age 48 and 49, and 15 innings in 1933 at age 49 and 50. (Franco and Phil Niekro were also regular players at age 48, but were one and five months younger respectively during their seasons at that age.)
During his career, Quinn played alongside 31 different members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and collected two World Series rings in three tries. He was also one of the last pitchers in baseball permitted to throw the spitball, grandfathered in along with sixteen others reliant on the pitch when it was banned in 1920. He frequently used his spitball after he was grandfathered in, in addition to his fastball, curve, and changeup.
Quinn died in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, at the age of 62.
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