MLB PITCHER ED SUMMERS OF KICKAPOO HERITAGE DIED—PITCHED 2 SHUTOUTS IN ONE DAY
Oron Edgar “Kickapoo Ed” Summers was born in Ladoga, Indiana, December 5, 1882. He attended Wabash College in 1903 before pitching in the American Association. Listed as a righthanded pitcher, he was ambidextrous & a switch hitter. Ed invented the modern “finger-tip” knuckleball while with the Indianapolis Indians in 1907. In 1908, his rookie major league season, Summers was the Detroit Tigers’ best pitcher with a 1.64 ERA & 24–12 win-loss record. On September 25, 1908, he pitched & won both ends of a doubleheader by complete game shutouts. His 1.64 ERA remains the Tigers’ single season best. On July 16, 1909, Summers pitched 18 scoreless innings of a tie game against the Washington Senators. He ended 1909 at 19–9. Due to rheumatism, Ed played just 3 more seasons ending with a 68–45 record & 2.42 ERA, 79 complete games & 9 shutouts. In 1916, he coached the 1916 Wabash baseball team before becoming a welder in 1918 in Indianapolis. Summers retired in 1950 and died in Indianapolis.
Sources: Jon Pactor ’71, “Wabash Men in History: Kickapoo Ed Summers,” Wabash Magazine. Retrieved 4/14/2021, Magazine | Wabash College Wikipedia Photo: Detroit Free Press, 1908. Library of Congress Call Number: LOT 14058, no. 44 [P&P]. Public Domain.