Vic Willis

Class of


As a teenager he played baseball for the Wilmington YMCA and Newark Academy. After one season of play for the University of Delaware, Willis turned pro. Displaying a nasty curveball, he helped
pitch Syracuse of the Tri-State League to a pennant in 1897. Next stop, the major leagues, where in 1898 he had a 24-13 record which helped the Boston National League club win the pennant. In 1899,
Vic went 27-10, including a no-hitter. Overall, Willis was a 20-game winner eight times during his 13-year career, twice winning 27. During the season of 1901 he set the National League record for
complete games in the 20th century with 45. After 1902 the Boston team was always a threat to lose 100 games .  Willis lost 25 games in 1904 and a modern record of 29 in 1905 while posting
excellent ERA’s of 2.85 and 3.21, In 1906 he was traded to Pittsburgh and proceeded to win 22, 22, 23, and 22 in consecutive seasons. His ERA in 1906 was a tidy 1.73. Willis finished his career in
St. Louis in 1910 … his career won-loss record was 248-206, including 50 shutouts. It took a long time, but Wilmington’s Vic Willis was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown,
posthumously in 1997–50 years after his death in Elkton, Maryland.



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