Allow me to hark back to perhaps my first actual "as-it-was-happening" baseball historic moment as a nine-year old kid: Ron Guidry's 18-strikeout performance against the California Angels at Yankee Stadium.
That was the moment Ron Guidry, left-handed pitcher for the Yanks, became "Louisiana Lightning".
With that in mind, he's up next in my "Nicknames of the '70s" sub-set thread:
1978 was one of those years a pitcher has it all working for him, along with a little bit of luck.
All Guidry did was post an insane 25-3 record, with a still Major League record .893 winning percentage for anyone with 20 or more wins, 248 strikeouts (still a New York Yankee season record, and a sparkling 1.74 earned run average with nine shutouts.
Man o' man!
I STILL say he was ripped of an M.V.P. Award that year, no matter what Jim Rice did for the Red Sox!
So, with that injustice, Guidry had to settle for second place, while taking home the A.L. Cy Young Award unanimously.
It's easy to forget that Guidry had only 10 full seasons in the Majors, with parts of four others completing his wonderful 14-year career.
He ended up with a 170-91 record, good for a .651 winning percentage, along with a 3.29 earned run average, 26 shutouts,1778 strikeouts and five Gold Glove Awards.
I absolutely loved that guy! Still do. A "Yankee for life", he's one of those guys that Yankee fans hold a special place for all these years later.
The "Gator", Ron Guidry, AKA "Louisiana Lightning"!