My last blog focused on the stories of some of the players who belonged to The Cup of Coffee Club (The CCC). To have a cup of coffee means to have a very short stint of1 game in the majors. For those of you who have not read the last blog, it is still listed, but now for more CCC stories.The end of this blog will look at the statistics of a composite of all hitters and pitchers in The CCC. Considering the total number of players seeing action in the majors since 1876 is approximately 20,000, the 996 members of the CCC is a rather large group.
The first player from the CCC I will highlight is Rex Hudson. Hudson’s only game was on July 27, 1974 when he started for the Dodgers against the Braves. The first two innings were almost flawless with the only blemish a double by Dusty Baker. However, it all fell apart in the 3rd inning. In order he was greeted by a single, a double, and another single and back-to-back home runs. Five runs, no outs, back to the showers. But he is best known for the first of the two consecutive home runs. Henry Aaron deposited that home run into the bullpen. Johnny Oates picked up the ball and wrote the number 726 on the ball. That ball broke the home record. Until, that is, Aaron hit two more ten days later.
Next we come to Allan Travers. His one game pitched was brought about by the misbehavior of that rascal Ty Cobb. Ty Cobb responded to a fan’s heckling by entering the stands and beating him senseless. The AL President responded by suspending Cobb. The rest of the Tiger players refused to play until Cobb was reinstated. That left the manager Hughie Jennings in a bind. To avoid a $5000 fine Jennings combed the streets of Detroit to put together a rag-tag team of scrubs. Standing on a street corner was the 20-year old Travers, who had never pitched a game before. He wound up starting the next game and pitching 8 innings. He gave up 26 hits and 24 runs, 14 of which were earned runs. Years later, he probably only remembered the one batter he did strike out.
Jeff Banister overcame serious medical problems to become a member of the CCC. In high school, he was diagnosed with cancer in his ankle bone. Doctors considered amputation, but seven operations allowed him to keep the foot and, eventually, got rid of the cancer. In college, while playing catcher, he was run over during a play at the plate, resulting in three shattered vertebrae. After toiling in the minors for seven seasons, he was called up by the Pirates to replace an injured catcher. On July 23, 1991 he played in his only game and in his only PA he got a single. His stay in the majors was short-lived when an injury to a pitcher caused a need to create a slot for a replacement pitcher which led to his return to the minors.
Other notable CCC members included Ray Jensen who went 4 for 5 in his cup of coffee game on September 30, 1910 with the St Louis Browns. He also made three errors on seven chances at third base which could account for his cameo appearance. Once Adam Greenberg removed himself from the CCC, Fred Van Dusen, is the only player in the CCC to be hit by a pitch in his only game, never to play in the field. Walter Alston, 1983 Hall of Fame manager, had one at bat and struck out and Larry Yount, brother of Hall of Famer Robin Yount, called in to pitch, hurt his elbow warming up and never threw a pitch.
Below are the hitting statistics of the 996 games played by the 996 members of the CCC. The pitchers are included but most of them never batted. You can see why these hitters belonged to the CCC.
Below are the pitching statistics for the 531 pitchers in the CCC. You can see why they also belonged to the CCC.