Thomas Henry Bond
Born: 4/2/1856- Granard, Ireland
Tommy Bond started his career with the National Association Brooklyn Atlantics, and after 1 season he signed on with the Hartford Dark Blues. There he teamed up with fellow pitcher Candy Cummings and was said to have learned how to throw the curve ball from the self-appointed inventor of the curve. Tommy Bond was supposed to have proved to the skeptics that the ball did in fact curve, by curving the ball around wooden stakes that had been hammered into the ground. He started the ball on one side of the stakes and it curved and finished on the other side.
In 1877 Tommy Bond won 40 games for the Red Caps, his 1st of 3 consecutive 40 win seasons. He became the 1st pitcher to win the pitcher’s Triple Crown: leading the league in wins, K’s and ERA. During his career he finished 95% of the games he started. Not surprisingly he retired at the age of 28 due to arm troubles.
After retiring he became a successful coach with the Harvard baseball team.
When he died in 1841 at the age of 84, he was the last surviving original member of the National League. Nicely done Mr. Bond.