Allan Travers

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Allan Travers
Born: May 7, 1892
Philadelphia , United StatesUnited StatesUnited States 
Died on: April 19, 1968
Philadelphia , United StatesUnited StatesUnited States 
Suggested: Right Threw: Right
Debut in Major League Baseball
May 18,  1912  with the  Detroit Tigers
Last MLB assignment
May 18,  1912  with the  Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
(until end of career)
Win-loss    0-1
Strikeouts    1
Earned Run Average    15.75

Aloysius Joseph "Allan" Travers (born May 7, 1892 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , † April 19, 1968 ibid) was an American baseball player for the Detroit Tigers in Major League Baseball . The 1.82 meter tall Travers played the position of the pitcher and played exactly one game for the Tigers, in which he set various negative records that are still valid today.


On May 15, 1912, the Detroit Tigers of superstar Ty Cobb played a season game against the New York Highlanders , in which Cobb assaulted a spectator. American League boss Ban Johnson was appalled by Cobb's behavior and suspended him indefinitely, whereupon 16 Tigers players boycotted the next match against the Philadelphia Athletics out of solidarity . Since Tigers coach Hughie Jennings no longer had enough players, he wanted to cancel the game. Johnson threatened draconian penalties for this: $ 5,000 penalty plus $ 100 per striking player per game day. Jennings was hastily looking for amateur baseball players in Philadelphia to offer one-game-day contracts for $ 25 as the Detroit Tiger. Travers, who pitched in high school, was recruited along with seven other amateurs. As a pitcher and therefore the most important player on a baseball team, he received $ 50 instead of the 25.

On May 18, 1912, the home game of the Athletics against the Tigers took place. The Athletics did not even think about sparing the weakened Tigers: in front of 20,000 spectators they dismantled Detroit with 24: 2 points, with Travers pitching eight innings. Travers' throwing repertoire consisted of a curveball that was surprisingly effective up to the 4th inning and a fastball , which he hardly dared to throw for fear of home runs . Nevertheless, after four innings it was only 6: 2, until the athletics started to be colorful and made 18 points. The inexperienced Tigers defense not only had difficulties catching the balls, but also throwing them back to base correctly. They were too slow, especially in the Bunt hits in the second half of the game. The chroniclers noted the following figures for the unfortunate thrower:

  • 24 runs against each other (all-time American League record)
    • thereof 14 earned runs (all-time MLB record)
  • 26 hits against each other (all-time American League record)
  • 7 walks permitted
  • Earned Run Average of 15.75
  • at-bat three times, no hit

The dismantling was extremely embarrassing for everyone involved. It had a bitter ending for Travers as his picture appeared in Detroit (and, of course, Ty Cobb-friendly) newspapers under the headline "Strikebreaker". The Tigers relented and ended their strike, keeping Ban Johnson's fines within reasonable limits. Travers never played in the MLB again.

Travers didn't talk about this game for a long time, but among Tigers fans he is known less as a laughing stock and more as a reluctant hero who saved the Tigers from potential bankruptcy ( Man who saved the Detroit franchise ).

Private life

Travers was ordained a Catholic priest ("Reverend") in 1926, later was a teacher at St. Francis Xavier High School and dean at St. Joseph's College, and taught Spanish and religion for the last 25 years of his life. To this day he is the only clergyman who has ever played an MLB game.

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