Hippo Vaughn

James Leslie "Hippo" Vaughn (April 9, 1888 – May 29, 1966) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs during the 1910s. He had some good years for the Cubs during a time when they were not always competitive, winning over 20 games in five seasons, including a National League-leading 22 in 1918, when the season was ended a month early due to government restrictions brought about by World War I. That same year, Vaughn also led the National League in earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts to become the ninth triple crown winner in the modern era and the fifteenth overall.

Vaughn was born in Weatherford, Texas. Aside from the unflattering nickname (at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, he was only slightly less heavy than 1970s Cubs star Rick Reuschel), he is best remembered for his participation in what the record books used to refer to as a "double no-hitter". On May 2, 1917, at the ballpark now known as Wrigley Field, Vaughn dueled with Fred Toney of the Cincinnati Reds for nine hitless innings. In the top of the 10th, the Reds scored on a couple of hits after Vaughn had retired the first batter, while Toney continued to hold the Cubs hitless in the bottom of the inning, winning the game for the Reds. With changes to the scoring rules in recent years, this game is no longer considered as a no-hitter for Vaughn, but is still the only occasion in major league history nine innings were played without a hit.

Vaughn died at age 78 in Chicago, Illinois.

By Dean Hanley

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