Alright, it is time to revisit John Frill.
Just who was John Frill?
How did his professional baseball career go?
What kind of pitches did Frill throw?
What was his life like before baseball?
What was his life like after baseball?
These are the questions I dared to ask when I decided to look up Frill The Thrill.
Much like Lefty Davis, a lot of information about John Frill has been lost over time. But lets try and uncover as much as we possibly can.
John Edmond Frill was born on April 3rd, 1879 in Reading, PA. Frill was a left-handed pitcher who batted right. By 1906 he had become a professional baseball player as he played for the Springfield Ponies in 1906. In 1907 he spent some time in East Liverpool but spent the end of the season with the Newark Sailors. Frill spent the following two seasons in Newark and was allegedly a star pitcher for the Sailors/Indians (I say allegedly because I haven't been able to confirm whether or not BR Bullpen's claims are accurate). On August 6th, 1909 John Frill was sold to the New York Highlanders for $2,500 (adjusted for inflation that's aprox. $63,225.45 today).
He started the 1910 season with the Highlanders and made his MLB debut on April 16th, 1910 against the Boston Red Sox. John Frill out dueled Frank Arellanes and the Highlanders won 4-2. The victory was also the first Highlanders win of the 1910 season. During the 1910 season John Frill appeared in 10 games for the Highlanders and started five of them. He struck out 27 batters while only walking five batters and pitched to a 1.85 FIP (per Baseball Reference). There aren't too many reports about John Frill's outings or his time with the Highlanders but if his 60 ERA+ and -0.9 bWAR are any indication then it's no surprise that the Highlanders sold him to the Jersey City Skeeters on July 13th, 1910.
Frill spent the rest of the 1910 season and the 1911 season with the Skeeters. In 1912 he returned to the majors twice, first as a member of the St. Louis Browns where he started three games but only lasted 4.1 innings between all three outings combined. He and his 20.77 ERA were picked up off the waiver wire by the Cincinnati Reds on August 5th, 1912 where he fared a little better, but his stint with the Reds would be his final one as a major league baseball player. After his time with the Reds he spent the next three seasons playing for the Buffalo Bisons, Jersey City Skeeters (again), Toronto Maple Leafs (haha), Syracuse Stars and the Albany Senators. Overall Frill was a solid pitcher in the minors but was sort of a AAAA guy during his stints in the majors.
According to a few sources John Frill was drafted by the US government in 1917 and fought in World War I in 1917 and possibly parts of 1918. On September 28th, 1918, John Frill died due to influenza at the age of 39 in Westerly, Rhode Island.
And that was all I was able to come up with (again I'm NOT as diligent as Thom over at the fantastic site Baseball History Daily so who knows what I might've been able to uncover if I had gone the extra distance and looked up old newspaper archives). But for a handful of Google searches I think I managed to answer close to four of the six questions I had. Of course the two I didn't answer were about his personal life before his playing days (and I guess his post-baseball life wasn't exactly answered very well either) and what he threw but I wasn't really expecting to find much about that sort of information ranyway so I'll just appreciate what I could get.
Hopefully you all enjoyed this post (I sure enjoyed digging up old bits of baseball knowledge again).
And as always thanks for stopping by and take care :).