Iowa History Daily: September 25 - Iowa's Greatest Spitballer
Iowa History Daily: On September 25, 1976, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Urban Clearance “Red” Faber of Cascade, Iowa, died. A star right-handed pitcher for the Chicago White Sox from 1914 to 1933, the iconic spitballer spun his way to 254 wins over a storied career.
Born on a farm outside of Cascade, a town which splits the border between Dubuque and Jones counties in eastern Iowa, in September of 1888. The son of a successful hotelier and tavern owner, Faber attended private academies in Dubuque and Prairie du Chien. Faber first appears in the annals of Iowa baseball pitching for a Dubuque Sunday League team for $2 a week as a sixteen year old.
Enrolling at Loras College (then St. Joseph’s), Faber shined on the mound over the course of a single season. Against rival St. Ambrose the young pitcher struck out 24 batters over the course of a nine inning game. Minor League scouts quickly took notice and a contract with the Dubuque Miners of Class B soon followed. Over a few years in the minors at several stops, a perfect game against Davenport helped propel Faber toward the big leagues.
In 1914, Faber broke into the show with the Chicago White Sox and proved a reliable pitcher both starting and in relief. When the league banned the spitball in 1920, Faber was one of seventeen pitchers allowed to continue throwing the pitch until retirement. After finishing his career with a total record of 254-213, a 3.15 ERA, and 1471 strikeouts, the Baseball Writers Association of America elected Faber to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar