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Warren Spahn

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Warren Edward Spahn
(Hook or The Invincible One)

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1973

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[edit] Biographical Information

"Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing." - Warren Spahn

Warren Spahn pitched 21 seasons in the major leagues, winning 363 games. His win total is 6th on the all-time list. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 24, 1973 by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

He likely would have been inducted into the Hall with the class of 1971 but Spahn pitched with the Mexico City Tigers of the Mexican League in 1966 and Tulsa of the Pacific Coast League in 1967. The Hall of Fame considered him an active player, thus delaying his induction.

Spahn broke in as a 21-year-old rookie with the Boston Braves in 1942. He probably would have won far more games than he did had he not lost several years to World War II. He served in the U.S. Army and participated in the battle for the bridge at Remagen. Spahn was awarded a purple heart (wounded in action) and a bronze star (conspicuous bravery under fire) during his military career.

He came back to the majors for 24 games in 1946, and for his first full season in 1947, at the age of 26. He continued to pitch in the majors through 1965, when he was 44 years old. His first 20 seasons were spent pitching with the Braves, first in Boston and then in Milwaukee. He split his final season between the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants.

Spahn was named for President Warren Harding.

A popular mantra in Boston in 1948 was "Spahn and Sain, then pray for rain." It implied that the other starting pitchers were inept and the only chance the Braves had of winning was with Spahn or Johnny Sain on the mound. However, other Braves pitchers did indeed contribute to the pennant-winning effort.

He was the winner of 363 games, the most of any lefthander in history. He added a screwball to his pitching style after his fastball left him. He led the league in strikeouts four times. He was a twenty-game winner 13 times, extremely consistent. Amazingly, he kept on into his forties, and at age 42 was a remarkable 23-7. He also was tops in complete games many seasons, and it helped that he was a pretty good hitter!

Spahn also managed at Tulsa for five years, and had substantial success in 1968 when his team went 95-53.

He had a ranch in Oklahoma.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 14-time NL All-Star (1947, 1949-1954, 1956-1959 & 1961-1963)
  • ML Cy Young Award Winner (1957)
  • 3-time NL ERA Leader (1947, 1953 & 1961)
  • 8-time NL Wins Leader (1949, 1950, 1953 & 1957-1961)
  • NL Winning Percentage Leader (1958)
  • 4-time NL Innings Pitched Leader (1947, 1949, 1958 & 1959)
  • 4-time NL Strikeouts Leader (1949-1952)
  • 9-time NL Complete Games Leader (1949, 1951 & 1957-1963)
  • 4-time NL Shutouts Leader (1947, 1951, 1959 & 1961)
  • 15 Win Seasons: 16 (1947-1951 & 1953-1963)
  • 20 Win Seasons: 13 (1947, 1949-1951, 1953, 1954, 1956-1961 & 1963)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 17 (1947-1963)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1949 & 1951)
  • Won a World Series with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1973


ML Cy Young Award
1956 1957 1958
Don Newcombe Warren Spahn Bob Turley

[edit] Records Held

  • Innings pitched, left-hander, career, 5243.2
  • Wins, left-hander, career, 363
  • Starts against a single club, career, 115 v St Louis

(Spahn also holds second place in this category, with 108 starts against New York. Third is Walter Johnson, 105 v Detroit.)

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