Duck Eye’s Debut
Amid the grandeur and suspense, a 28-year old rookie pitcher named Myles Thomas made his World Series debut in the fall of 1926. Though his pitching performance – one earned run over three innings in relief – was serviceable if not memorable, his name lives on in Cooperstown thanks to an artifact in the Museum’s collection.
This baseball was signed by members of both the Yankees and Cardinals during the ’26 Series. Babe Ruth’s signature is the largest on the ball, unsurprisingly, but Thomas’ autograph is also prominent as the first name above ‘New York Yankees.’
Thomas, a graduate of Penn State, enjoyed his best season in 1927 when he went 7-4 with the Yankees. He compiled that record despite a 4.87 earned-run average, perhaps speaking to the incredible clout of the lineup supporting him. He was known as “Duck Eye” on the club thanks to a nickname given to him by the Bambino himself. Ruth was not adept at remembering names, and so he gave Thomas his avian moniker because he thought the pitcher’s flattened eyelids resembled those of a duck .
Matt Kelly was the communications specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum