Saturday, July 25, 2009

WSC Vintage: Charlie Robertson

Card #8 - Charlie Robertson

Charlie began his Major League career with the White Sox in 1919, where he pitched 2 innings. Robertson's main pitch throughout his career was a slow curveball which he would often throw on the first pitch to a batter on either side of the plate, followed by a fastball up in the zone.

Charlie would spend most of 1919 and all of 1920 and 1921 with the Minneapolis AA team. He came up with the White Sox again in 1922. No one could predict what would happen next.

In only his fourth MLB start, Charlie threw a perfect game, on April 30, 1922, against the Detroit Tigers at Navin Field. There were no spectacular plays made, except for a line drive fielded by Johnny Mostil. Robertson's control was the key. The unruly crowd of 25,000 made the task even more difficult, with booing and complaining. When the game was finished, Charlie had won the crowd over with his dazzling pitching performance.

After the game, the Tigers presented several balls from the game to the American League President, Ban Johnson for inspection. Ty Cobb and Harry Heilmann were among the vocal Tiger batters accusing Robertson of doctoring the ball. All game balls presented to Johnson were found to be undoctored and the perfect game was upheld.

Charlie remained on the White Sox through 1925. After the perfect game, Robertson suffered through arm injuries that shortened his career. Short stints with the St. Louis Browns and the Boston Braves would follow his Chicago career. By 1928, Charles Culbertson Robertson was out of the Major Leagues. By 1930, he retired from playing baseball.

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