Primary Position: Starting pitcher
Full Name: John Frederick
Date of Birth: Dec. 11, 1885 Date and Place of Death: Nov. 8, 1957, Winston-Salem
Burial: Salem Cemetery, Winston-Salem
High School: Oak Ridge Academy, Oak Ridge, NC
College: Davidson College, Davidson, NC; University of Maryland-Baltimore
Bats: R Throws: R Height and Weight: 6-2, 180
Debut Year: 1909 Final Year: 1918 Years Played: 7
Teams and Years: Boston Red Sox, 1909, 1913; Buffalo Buffeds, 1914-15; N.Y. Giants, 1916-18
G W L Sv ERA IP SO WAR
178 53 57 8 2.86 986.1 514 3.4
Dr. Fred Anderson was a spit-balling dentist, certainly the only one in the history of baseball. For parts of seven seasons during the second decade of the 20th century, Anderson made baseballs do funny things by legally lathering them with his saliva. In the off season, he reached into patients’ mouths to practice his other craft.
That made Anderson unusual in another way. Unlike most players of his era, he wasn’t a slave to autocratic team owners wielding contracts that gave them complete control over their hires’ careers. He could afford to be independent. If he didn’t like the money an owner offered for his services, Anderson had the option of being a fulltime dentist or a collegiate baseball manager instead or even jumping to another major league.
He actually did all of those things before retiring from baseball with a 2.86 earned-run average, or ERA, third-best among North Carolina pitchers with more than 500 major-league innings. Anderson settled in Winston-Salem, not too far from his ancestral home, where he practiced dentistry for almost 30 years.