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Nig Cuppy
Nig Cuppy
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Born: {{{birthdate}}}
MLB Debut
April 16, 1892 for the Cleveland Spiders
Final game
August 7, 1901 for the Boston Americans
Career Statistics
Record     162-98
Earned Run Average     3.48
Walks per nine innings     2.40
Career Highlights and Awards
  • Three 20-win seasons (1892, 1895, 1896)
  • 1894: Led NL in shutouts and games finished.

George Joseph "Nig" Cuppy, (July 3 1869July 27 1922), was an American baseball pitcher during the 1890s. He spent nine years of his ten-year major league career as the number two starter behind Cy Young. His nickname, "Nig", is often adjudged to be a racist reference to his dark complexion.[1]

Cuppy was born George Maceo Koppe in Logansport, Indiana (it is unclear at what point he changed his name but "Cuppy" is the phonetic spelling of the German name "Koppe").[2] His rookie season came with the Cleveland Spiders in 1892, two years after Cy Young's debut with the team. In his first season Cuppy recorded an ERA of 2.51 and a record of 28-13, a performance better than either of Young's first two major league seasons. However, Cuppy was never able to match these figures. In 1893 the distance between the pitcher's mound and home plate increased from 50 feet to 60 feet, 6 inches.[3] Although he remained an effective pitcher throughout the rest of his career, after this rule was enacted he never recorded an ERA under 3.00.

On August 9 1895, Cuppy scored five runs against the Chicago Colts in an 18-6 victory,[1] the most runs ever scored by a pitcher in a major league baseball game.[4]

Cuppy remained with the Spiders until March 29, 1899, when the club's owners transferred him, along with the majority of the roster, to their other team, the St. Louis Perfectos.[2] He spent only one season with the Perfectos before being sold to the Boston Beaneaters on May 23, 1900.[2] The 1900 season was the only year of his career in which he did not pitch with Young. At the end of the season, during which he had recorded an ERA of 3.04 and a win-loss record of 8-4, he moved across town to the newly formed Boston Americans.

The 1901 season, Cuppy's last in major league baseball, resulted in the only season in which he had a losing record, albeit he did have a career low 13 appearances. Cuppy was released by Boston in August, 1901.[2]

Cuppy died at the age of 53 in Elkhart, Indiana.[2] He was interred at the Rice Cemetery in Elkhart.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arthurs, Al. Nig Cuppy. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Nig Cuppy. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.
  3. Baseball Rule Change Timeline. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.
  4. Runs Scored Records. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.

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