The Phillies trade infielder Bert Niehoff (.255, 2, 42) on April 4, 1918 and send cash to the Cardinals for rookie right-hander Mule Watson. Niehoff will play just one more season before retiring.
Watson will pitch two seasons with Philadelphia, posting a 7-11 record, before being traded to the Braves.
Mule is very famous for starting both ends of a double header. On the 12th and 13 August 1921, Watson became the last pitcher in Major League history to start both games of a doubleheader twice in the same season.
On August 12, 1921, both teams used the same starting pitcher in both games of a doubleheader at Braves Field in Boston, the only time that’s happened in major league history. Phillies manager Kaiser Wilhelm (who had taken over from Bill Donovan less than three weeks earlier) sent George Smith to the mound in both games, while boston skipper Fred Mitchell called on Jack Scott, the same fellow who threw the two complete games in a 1927 twin-bill. (Scott had also started both games of a double dip in 1920.) The account in the New York Times doesn’t call any special attention to the situation: “Scott and Smith started both games, but the former was hit hard and finished neither, and Smith did not finish the first.” Scott took the loss in both games; neither pitcher made it our of the third inning of the opener, then Smith threw a 12-hit shutout in game two.
The next day, Mitchell started Mule Watson in both games of another doubleheader against Philly, and Watson went the distance in winning both games, holding on to win the first game 4-3, then retiring the first 14 batters he faced in game two on the way to a two-hit shutout. Watson, like Scott, had previous experience starting two games in a day, having done so twice in his first two months in the majors in 1918 for the A’s. That made Watson, who won 50 games in an otherwise unremarkable major league career, the last man to do doubleheader duty twice in a season.