Amos Wilson Rusie
(May 30, 1871 – December 6, 1942), nicknamed "The Hoosier Thunderbolt", was an American
in Major League Baseball
during the late 19th century. He had a 10-season career in the National League
(NL), which consisted of one season with the Indianapolis Hoosiers
in , eight with the New York Giants
from to , and one with the Cincinnati Reds
He is best known for the speed in which he pitched a baseball. The velocity of his fastball
was unknown, but it has been estimated that he threw it in the mid to upper 90s
. He led the league in strikeouts
five times, and won
20 or more games eight times. Though he did throw hard, he did not have good control of pitches, leading the league in walks
five times, is seventh all-time among the career pitching leaders in that category, and in 1890 he walked 289, the all-time single-season record.
One of his fastballs struck future Hall of Fame Hughie Jennings
in the head rendering him comatose for a period of four days before recovering. This incident was a catalyst for officials to change the distance from the pitching rubber to home plate from to the current , 6 inches. This ruling was made effective for the season, right at the peak of Amos Rusie’s pitching prowess. The distance change did not hinder Rusie's effectiveness, leading the league in strikeouts three straight seasons afterward, while also winning what later would be known as the pitching triple......