Jacob Erskine Mayer (born James Erskine Mayer, January 16, 1889 – March 10, 1957) was an American baseball player who played for three different Major League Baseball teams during the 1910s. In his eight-year career, Mayer played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Chicago White Sox.
A right-handed pitcher, Mayer's repertoire of pitches included a curve ball which he threw from a sidearm angle. As a result of his curve ball, then Brooklyn Dodgers manager Wilbert Robinson called Mayer "Eelskine" because the pitch was "so slippery."
Mayer won 20 games in a single season in both 1914 and 1915. He appeared in the 1915 World Series as a member of the Phillies and in the 1919 World Series as a member of the White Sox, a series noted for the Black Sox Scandal.
He was 91–70 in his career, with a 2.96 ERA. He was one of the all-time best Jewish pitchers in major league history through 2010, 3rd career-wise in ERA (behind only Barney Pelty and Sandy Koufax), 7th in wins, and 10th in strikeouts (482).
By Dean Hanley
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