A Boston sportswriter described the tall, slender Whitney: "He has a head about the
size of a wart, with a forehead slanting at an angle of 45 degrees." "Grasshopper
Jim" joined Boston in 1881 and led the NL in both wins (31) and losses (33) as a
rookie. In 1883, he was 37-21 as Boston won the pennant. A strong hitter, he often
batted cleanup and was usually stationed in centerfield when he was not on the mound.
His pitching slump in the next three seasons was blamed by some on the rule change
that allowed overhand pitching. After a 24-21 comeback with Washington in 1887, his
skills eroded rapidly. He pitched his last game in 1890 and died the following spring