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Eppa "Jeptha" Rixey (May 3, 1891 - February 28, 1963) was a left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the National League's leader in career victories for a left-hander with 266 wins until Warren Spahn surpassed his total.

Rixey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963.

Early and Personal life[]

Rixey attended the University of Virginia, where he studied Chemistry, and was a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society.

He was married to Dorothy Meyers of Cincinnati, Ohio and had two children, Eppa Rixey III and Ann Rixey Sikes.

Baseball career[]

Rixey came into the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1912, directly from the University of Virginia. He went 10-10 in his first year, with a 2.50 ERA. In 1914 he went 2-11, but Rixey went 22-10 in 1916 with a 1.85 ERA. Rixey missed the 1918 season to serve overseas in the war effort, and struggled upon returning to baseball, going 6-12 in 1919 and 11-22 in 1920.

Rixey was traded prior to the 1921 season to the Cincinnati Reds. Rixey returned to his best pre-war form. He won 19 games in 1921, a league-high 25 in 1922, 20 in 1923, 15 in 1924, and 21 in 1925. Rixey's play began to slip in 1930, when he went 9-13 with a 5.10 ERA, and pitched fewer than 200 innings for the first time since 1919. He lingered in the Reds organization until 1933, before retiring.

Rixey finished his major league career with 266 wins, 251 losses, and a 3.15 ERA.

Throughout his long career, the 210-pound Rixey charmed teammates and fans with his dry wit and big Southern drawl. His nonsensical nickname "Jeptha" seemed to capture his blue-blood roots and amiable personality. Rixey's good sense of humor helped him survive the ignominy of pitching for weak teams that finished in the second division 12 of his 21 seasons.

Besides Rixey's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963, he was also inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1959.

See also[]

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Preceded by:
Wilbur Cooper & Burleigh Grimes
National League Wins Champion
Succeeded by:
Dolf Luque