Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WSC Vintage: Roy Patterson

Card #11 - Roy Patterson

Roy was more than a good pitcher, he was a link. His career started in 1899 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Patterson played for a team called the Saints, also known as the Apostles, in the Western League.

What makes this association so special? When this incarnation of the Western League formed in November 1893, one of the teams for the inaugural 1894 season was based in Sioux City, Iowa. Before the 1895 season, that team moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1900, the Western League renamed itself the American League and the St. Paul franchise moved to Chicago. It used the abandoned Cubs moniker of the White Stockings and in 1901, became one of the eight original American League teams when they were declared a major league.

Patterson played with the White Sox from 1899, when they were just a minor league club until 1907, the year after the franchise's first World Championship. Roy was one of the privileged few to see the franchise rise from the last phase of humble beginnings to the mark of excellence in the early majors. Unfortunately, he did not play in the 1906 World Series against the crosstown rival Cubs.

Through seven Major League seasons, Roy compiled a record of 81-73 with a 2.75 career ERA, which still ranks in the top 100 career ERAs over a century later. To gain perspective on what an accomplishment that really is, as of the 2009 season, only Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman were current players with better career ERAs.

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