Eppa Rixey Jr. (May 3, 1891 – February 28, 1963), nicknamed "Jephtha", was an American left-handed pitcher who played 21 seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball from 1912 to 1933. Rixey was best known as the National League's leader in career victories for a left-hander with 266 wins until Warren Spahn surpassed his total in 1959.
Rixey attended the University of Virginia where he was a star pitcher. He was discovered by umpire Cy Rigler, who convinced him to sign directly with the Phillies, bypassing minor league baseball entirely. His time with the Phillies was marked by inconsistency. He won 22 games in 1916, but also led the league in losses twice. In 1915, the Phillies played in the World Series, and Rixey lost in his only appearance. After being traded to the Reds prior to the 1921 season, he won 20 or more games in a season three times, including a league-leading 25 in 1922, and posted eight consecutive winning seasons. His skills were declining by the 1929 season, when his record was 10–13 with a 4.16 earned run average. He pitched another four seasons before retiring after the 1933 season.
An intellectual who taught high school Latin during the off-season, earning the nickname "Jephtha" for his southern drawl, Rixey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963 but died a month after his election.
By Dean Hanley
Page : 1