June 27, 2007

Jim : "Pud" Galvin (1856-1902) was baseball's first 300 win pitcher. He was also one of the first players to use performance enhancing chemicals. Specifically, monkey testosterone, called the "elixir of Brown-Sequard."

posted by Joey Michaels to baseball at 01:33 PM - 12 comments

So long as Babe Ruth's only "performance enhancers" were hot dogs, beer and loose women, we're okay...

posted by Drood at 04:16 PM on June 27, 2007

Second post of the day that I've come in expecting an Onion article.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 04:23 PM on June 27, 2007

The thought of all those poor monkeys singing soprano leaves me saddened.

posted by Howard_T at 04:34 PM on June 27, 2007

The thought of all those poor monkeys singing soprano leaves me saddened. So true. Monkeys have such lovely natural contralto singing voices.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:51 PM on June 27, 2007

FYI, his nickname was Pud because batters "turned to pudding" with fear when he pitched. One of the all time great baseball nicknames, IMO.

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:36 PM on June 27, 2007

See, and here I thought "Pud" had something to do with harvesting the testosterone from the monkeys. Shows how much I know. In all seriousness, though, 646 complete games? Bring me some monkey nuts and a Juiceman! Okay, maybe not in all seriousness.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:38 AM on June 28, 2007

According to my grandfather, James Galvin aka the Pud was an extremely tough, smart in your face pitcher and that he went to the game to play to win not just look go but win and in the years he played he won a lot of games. Monkey Testosterone is that the same as Antbolic Steriods today? I honestly don't remember him he was long gone before I was born, 1919, but according to my grandfather and his baseball friends he was a real solid pitcher that wasn't afraid to step up to the mound. To win 300 games and be the first pitcher to do so is something very special today or yesterday.

posted by The Old Man at 05:16 PM on June 28, 2007

He won 364 games and won 35 games once and 20 or more a number of times. Started 1874 and ended his career in 1892. Over 6000innings I would say that he came to pitch and his ending era was a very low 2.89 lifetime that puts him right up there was a lot of big time pitchers. He averaged over 20 wins a season for his career. Maybe Clemens should move over when someone says workhorse! 6000 innings in over 600 games he either had a rubber arm or was a good old farm boy like most of them were in those days. Looking at his stats really opens your eyes about the primadonnas of todays' game. They complain about 3 days rest . OKOK I know enough.

posted by The Old Man at 05:27 PM on June 28, 2007

I stand corrected my greatgrandkids just informed me he won 46 games twice in his career and 35 once and 20 a lot of other times. He was a farm boy from Missouri and it must have been like milking the cows pitching on the mound, only a days work, and he did it for over 14 years. My hats off to Mr Galvin and the like..................

posted by The Old Man at 05:34 PM on June 28, 2007

Old Man, you say all the things that I like to hear. :D Seriously, though, he was an amazing pitcher. I certainly don't believe that anabolic steroids = monkey testosterone. What I find interesting is that the contemporary references to Pud's use of it were complimentary - as in "look what this guy's willing to do to be a better player." To me, this raises a very interesting question. We put stuff in our bodies to "enhance our performance" all the time. Heck, I eat outmeal and blueberries pretty regularly because they are antioxidents and they've helped me address some cholesterol problems. This is clearly not the same as taking steroids either. I guess what I'm wondering about, though I didn't ask that question here (and I'm trying to find an answer through researching performance enhancers throughout baseball history) is "where is the line between a legal and an illegal substance in baseball?"

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:34 PM on June 28, 2007

Joey, I think that at the time he played there was a lot of jealous on the part of other pitchers. 46 wins two years in a row, and someone comes up with monkey testosterone, give me a break. According to my grandfather and father there were pitchers in the late 1800's and early 1900's that could and did pitch for what it seemed like, forever, day in and day out...Innings after innings and they didn't eat like they do today...You won't find any performance enhancers throughout baseball history because until the last 15 years there wasn't any. DMSO was used by Koufax and ice was applied to his arms after games and he iced them between innings. After that it became standard in MLB to ice pitchers arms sometimes before, during and after games. Ryan was noted for it as was most of the fast ball pitchers of this era. DMSO is a heat substance that allows tranfer of heat faster than just bengay. But it is extremely dangerous if not used properly and trust me if you get cold water on it just after you apply it it really hurts big time.. I have eaten rasberries, strawberries, blueberries and pomogantes my entire life over 88 years and that has only helped me maybe to live as long as I have. Steriods are an illegal substance used to enhance your performance on the field of play artifically. Berries et al are natural substances that help to keep your body functioning by means of natural ways. But I know what you mean..Andro and all the man-made drugs are cheaping plain and simple and if they want to stop it then if you get caught with them in your blood stream then you are gone from baseball and all the big money... Believe me if they did that then it would stop real fast. No baseball playing no MONEY>>>>>>and I am not harping on the money is the only driving force idea here. Even if they were paid at a lower scale if you couldn't play the game you wouldn't have a job and therefore no salary no money no making a living.

posted by The Old Man at 06:13 PM on June 28, 2007

I believe the steroids Galvin used came from the testosterone of goats, not monkeys. Or so said the newspaper reports of the time. I doubt Galvin was the first baseball player to use the stuff, however. As long as there is competition, there are performance enhancing drugs. That goes back to the ancient Greek Olympics.

posted by spira at 08:58 PM on June 29, 2007

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