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Pud Galvin | County Clare

Full Name: James Francis Galvin

Born: December 25, 1856 in St. Louis, MO

Irish Roots: Kilrush, County Clare and County Mayo

Family Name: Galvin and McTigue

Surname Origins: Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Gealbháin ‘descendant of Gealbhán’, a personal name from geal ‘bright’ + bán ‘white’

Accomplishments: 

  • First recorded perfect game in baseball history (8/17/1876)
  • First no-hitter on the road (8/20/1880)
  • Baseball’s first 300-game winner (1888)

Honors:

  •  National Baseball Hall of Fame (1965)
 
Bio: James Francis Galvin was born on Christmas Day in 1855. He grew up in a poor section of St. Louis known as the “Kerry Patch,” an area that was named after the home county of most of its Irish residents, although Galvin’s parents, Martin and Bridget, came from Clare and Mayo, respectively.
 
Galvin only stood 5 feet 8 inches tall and his hands weren’t big enough for him to master a curveball. But he made up for his lack of size with strength and dedication to his craft. It wasn’t long before James Francis Galvin had earned his nickname “Pud,” because of his ability to turn batters into “pudding.”
 
While pitching in the minor leagues, Galvin threw the first perfect game in the history of organized baseball. In his first full major league season, he posted a 37-27 record and a 2.28 ERA in 593 innings pitched. In 1883, Galvin won 46 games with a 2.72 ERA and completed 72 of his 75 starts!
 
Galvin was widely regarded as the best fielding pitcher of his generation and his pickoff move was the stuff of legend. He once got out of a bases loaded jam by picking off the runner at first, then the runner at third, followed by the runner at second base!
 
In 1888, Pud Galvin became baseball’s first 300-game winner. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965.