Big Ed Walsh: The Life and Times of a Spitballing Hall of Famer



As a young man living in the Anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania, it seemed Ed Walsh’s course in life was set. But he emerged from the hardscrabble life of the mines to become one of the Deadball Era’s greatest pitchers, winning fame, world championships, and eventually induction to the Hall of Fame.

This biography closely describes Walsh’s life and 14-year playing career, with special discussion of the spitball, a pitch that profoundly affected his fortunes–and ultimately his arm. The years 1905-1911 are explored in depth, especially his contributions to the 1906 world champion White Sox and his prominent role in the now-famous 1908 pennant race. Chapters are also devoted to his holdout in 1909, the athletic careers of his sons Bob and Ed, and his repeated attempts at comebacks after his arm injury.