In a previous article, I wrote about Sam Leever and mentioned just how good his career was, yet it goes almost unrecognized. He finished with a 194-100 career record, all compiled with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His career winning percentage ranks 18th all-time and only six of the players ahead of him have more career wins. Four of those guys are Hall of Famers: Christy Mathewson, Whitey Ford, Lefty Grove and Albert Spalding. One of the others is Pedro Martinez who should make the Hall first ballot, and the other, Bob Caruthers, is hurt by a few things. He played most of his career in the American Association which doesn't have a strong presence in the Hall of Fame; he only played seven full seasons and three partial seasons so he just barely makes the Hall's 10 year minimum for election. The other thing about him is he is usually at the top of the list of overlooked 19th century players so most experts of that era would have him in the Hall anyway.
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.