Guy Hecker

Guy Jackson Hecker (April 3, 1856 in Youngsville, Pennsylvania – December 3, 1938) was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was born in Youngsville, Pennsylvania. His debut game took place on May 2, 1882. His final game took place on September 30, 1890. During his career he played for the Louisville Eclipse and Pittsburgh Pirates. Hecker is considered by some baseball historians to be the best combination pitcher and hitter to play in the 19th century. He remains as one of the only two pitchers in Major League history to hit 3 home runs in one game, alongside Jim Tobin and the only pitcher to win a batting title. In addition, he is the only pitcher in baseball history to get six hits in a nine-inning game.

Hecker was the second pitcher ever in the American Association to pitch a no hitter. He did this as a rookie on September 19, 1882. He narrowly missed becoming the first pitcher in AA by a week when his teammate Tony Mullane threw one. He also set a WHIP record of 0.77, which remained the MLB record until 2000, when it was broken by Pedro Martinez' mark of 0.74, yet Hecker's mark remains the baseball rookie record. In 1884, Hecker won the pitching version of the triple crown by compiling 52 wins, 385 strikeouts and a 1.85 ERA. In 1886, Hecker won the batting title by hitting .341 for the season. Hecker finished his career in 1890 by managing and playing for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys.

Hecker died in Wooster, Ohio, and was laid to rest at Wooster Cemetery.

By Dean Hanley

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