Ed "Cannonball" Morris
Known as "Cannonball" - major league baseball player
When the Columbus Buckeyes played the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1884, Ed Morris of the Buckeyes pitched a no-hitter. The Alleghenys must have liked what they saw as they purchased the 21 year old from the Buckeyes five months later. Known as “Cannonball,” the 5 ft 7in southpaw had less than 6 months of professional baseball experience under his belt. His career would span seven seasons, during which time he played for the Columbus Buckeyes, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, and The Pittsburg Burghers [sic]. He would play for Pittsburgh in three different leagues, including the infamous Players’ League of 1890. His 1886 season with the Alleghenys saw him with 41 victories, a career high. He was the AA wins leader and AA saves leader that same year. He pitched 500 innings in 1884 and 1886, boasting 300 strikeouts in
both seasons. Morris played his last game in 1890, after which he
became the operator of a hotel on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
While Morris had retired as a player he remained a fan and rarely missed a Pirates game. In 1934 he was tapped by the team to don a uniform and pitch an inning in celebration of the Silver Anniversary of Forbes Field. Then a tennis court supervisor at South Park, the 72 year old took time off of work to participate in the festivities.
Information on Morris’s stats is readily available but information on his post baseball life is hard to find. He is often confused with an Ed Morris who was also a pitcher but in the 1920s. The younger Morris was killed in a bar fight, a fate many biographers have assigned to the elder. Ed “Cannonball” Morris, in fact, died from an infection that began in an injured toe. It was his first major illness and he died at age 79.