Mullane, Old Time Mound Sensation, Dies Here at 85
The man who could pitch with either hand, Toney Mullane, died today at his home, 6427 S. Ellis ave. in his 85th year. For 25 years, from 1878 to 1903, he had played with some of the nation's greatest teams and with the distinction, along with Lefty Groves, of having won over 300 games.
John McGraw, late manager of the New York Giants, called Mullane the only ambidextrous pitcher in baseball history. And Mullane, who served with the Chicago police force until his retirement in 1924, enjoyed telling how he'd trap men off bases by throwing with either hand. For most of his baseball career he did not wear a glove.
Mullane achieved his greatest pitching fame while with the great Cincinnati National League team of 1883 and 1893. But it was when he joined Detroit that he began using both hands in pitching. A sore right arm that threatened to end his baseball career caused Mullane to experiment with his left hand. He became proficient as a southpaw hurler but when his right arm was sound again he resumed his natural delivery.
His interest in baseball never flagged nor did his memory fade of his baseball contacts with such early stars as Hugh Jennings, McGraw, Wilbert Robinson, Cy Young, Willie Keeler and Charles Comiskey, founder of the Chicago White Sox. Mullane pitched for Comiskey when the "Old Roman" managed the St. Louis Browns.
Tony Mullane was born in County Cork, Ireland, Feb. 7, 1859. He came to America when he was five years old. In 1878 he started his baseball career, that was to take him to Akron, Detroit, Louisville, St. Louis, Toledo, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Paul and Spokane, at Geneva, Ohio. Besides pitching he doubled in the outfield and at third base.
Surviving are his brother and a daughter.