Ray Prim had an odd major league career. He came up in his twenties for the Senators and Phillies in the thirties, but didn't stick, being sent out to the PCL and Los Angeles for several years before reappearing with the Cubs, pitching extremely well in his late thirties in 1943 and 1945 before fading in 1946.
In fact, his WHIP in 1945 was an astounding 0.998, which given the times is tremendous.
What we don't know is how Prim came to the Cubs. His Baseball Reference major league page only has the following for transactions:
- September, 1933: Purchased by the Washington Senators from Albany (International). (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
- May 10, 1935: Traded by the Washington Senators with Tommy Thomas and cash to the Philadelphia Phillies for Snipe Hansen.
"Pitcher Ray Prim, former Washington Senator who became a member of the Phillies the last season, will do his pitching for Minneapolis in the American association in 1936. The Phils sent him to the Millers as part payment for Shortstop Leo Norris, purchased in September."
Prim pitched in one game for Minneapolis, not getting an out, before he was off to Los Angeles.
We find what happened to Prim in the Deseret News of April 25, 1936...
“Still in cellar position in the Pacific Coast League and with their star shortstop laid off indefinitely with a fractured skull, the Los Angeles Angels today announced purchase of another pitcher.
The new hurler is Ray Prim, right hander of the Minneapolis Club in the American Association, obtained at an unannounced price.”
Minneapolis was in the Cleveland organization, the Angels were affiliated with the Cubs. Prim was Angels property, though, and had some great years for them before he went to the Cubs. We find this article from the Spokesman Review of Oct. 1, 1942....
“President Clarence Rowland of the Los Angeles baseball club today announced the sale of Pitcher Ray Prim to the Chicago Cubs. Rowland said it was a cash plus player deal. Prim was given his choice several weeks ago of remaining with the Angels or joining the parent Cub team.”
At age 40, Prim was released back to Los Angeles for the 1947 season.