With his sharp curveball and several tricky arm angles, Vic Willis baffled batters on his way to 249 career victories. He pitched for a great 1898 Boston team that won the National League pennant and later hurled for the 1909 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He won twenty games eight times, though he never led his league in wins.
In 1995, Willis was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee nearly 100 years after he’s thrown his first pitch in the major leagues and 48 years after his death. It was a mistake based primarily on his low career ERA of 2.63, which was no better than Mark Buehrle’s 3.81 in his time, and on his 249 victories, which were a product of pitching for good teams and throwing 30+ complete games every year.