Big Ed Walsh

Lowest Career ERA Leaders

Big Ed Walsh

“[Walsh] threw a spitball. I think that ball disintegrated on the way to the plate and the catcher put it back together again. I swear, when it went past the plate it was just the spit went by.” – Sam Crawford (Photo source: Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.)


Big Ed Walsh and the legendary Addie Joss, career ERA leaders, are the only Major League starting pitchers to achieve a career ERA (Earned Run Average) of less than 2.00 (minimum 1,500 Innings Pitched).

Walsh, star of the Chicago White Sox,, posted an ERA of 1.82 for his career. Joss starred for the Cleveland franchise of the American League, and posted a career ERA of 1.89. These are the lowest career ERA marks ever.

In 1908, on October 2nd, Joss pitched a perfect game, 1-0, against the White Sox. Joss only needed 74 piches, a record for the fewest pitches thrown during a perfect game effort. His opponent: Ed Walsh, also a future Hall of Famer. Many believe Walsh, an amazing athlete, may have been the best fielding pitcher of All-Time.