Today in Tribe History: April 14, 1911

Tragedy strikes the Cleveland Naps franchise as, just two days after his 31st birthday, pitcher Addie Joss dies from tubercular meningitis.

Joss debuted with the Cleveland franchise, then still the Bronchos, in 1902. He won 17 games and threw a league-best five shutouts in his rookie year and, in 1904, led the league with a 1.59 ERA. From 1905 to 1908, he totaled 20 wins or more every year, including a league-high 27 in 1907. In 1908, he walked just 30 batters in 325 innings and finished the year with 24 wins and an AL-best 1.16 ERA. He also wrapped up his season on October 2nd with a perfect game against the Chicago White Sox, the first in franchise history and second ever in the junior circuit (Cy Young).

An elbow injury forced him out of action for the second half of the 1910 season after just 13 games, but he registered his second career no-hitter at the beginning of the season. He died at his home in Toledo, Ohio, just days after becoming ill.

Despite falling short of the required ten years of Major League service, Joss was posthumously elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978 by the Veteran’s Committee. His 0.968 WHIP remains the best career mark in baseball history.

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