Charles Victor Faust (nicknamed “Victory”) played in the Major Leagues for only a short time, and is considered to be one of the most untalented players ever to have graced our game. How did he get to the big leagues? Simple: a fortune teller.
Charlie Faust arrived at Griffith Stadium in St. Louis, where the New York Giants were playing on the road in 1911. Faust came out from the grandstands during the Giants batting practice and approached legendary manager John McGraw. Faust told McGraw he spoke with a fortune teller back home in Kansas and, if he pitched for the club, they would win the pennant that year.
Faust had no pitching abilities whatsoever. But McGraw was the superstitious type and the Giants had not won the World Series since 1905, so Little Napoleon allowed Faust to show him what kind of stuff he had.
During his warm-up, Faust had a big wind up that meant he took forever to let go of the ball. No matter what signal McGraw gave Faust the ball was pitched the same every time. There was no speed on the ball at all. McGraw ended up tossing his glove aside and catching Faust bare handed. Having fun with Faust, he asked if he could hit. Faust hit during batting practice and the team let him round the bases.
McGraw decided to take Faust with the team and let him dress in uniform and warm up with the team, leading Faust to think he would play. Toward the end of the season, after the Giants had clinched the league title, McGraw actually put Faust into pitch the ninth inning. Here are his stats at Baseball-Reference.com.
Faust truly believed he could contribute to the Giants’ success. The Giants did win the pennant that year and Charles “Victory” Faust was invited to the clubs spring training the following year. A few years later, Faust was committed to a mental institution and later died there from tuberculosis at 34.