Pitcher Goes Straight Into The Major Leagues In Philadelphia
Eppa Rixey was born in Culpeper, Virginia in May 1891. He attended the University of Virginia where he played basketball and baseball as a pitcher. During the off-season umpire Cy Rigler worked as an assistant coach for the University. He urged Rixey to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Rixey declined saying he wanted to be a chemist but Rigler offered a substantial portion of the bonus he received for signing a player if he signed. Rixey’s family needed the money so he signed. When the National League heard of the deal they passed a rule that prohibits umpires from signing players. Neither Rixey nor Rigler received any signing bonus.
On June 21, 1912 Rixey started with the Philadelphia Phillies without ever playing in the minor leagues.