Saturday, May 23, 2015

HALL OF FAME #21: WARREN SPAHN: CLASS OF 1973

Now HERE is a fun one for me: the next "Hall of Fame Inductee" in this thread is my all-time favorite pitcher (that I never saw pitch): all-time great Warren Spahn.
Check out my card:


As a kid first getting into baseball history in the late-70's, I was absolutely mesmerized by the numbers Spahn put up during his career.
I Remember when Baseball Digest used to list every 20-game winner by year in one of their issues, and I couldn't believe how many times "Spahn" was listed, year after year, without fail.
Just incredible.
His first 20-game season was 1947 (at the age of 26), and he kept right on rolling until his final 20-game season in 1963!
In between, he ended up posting 13 such campaigns, leading the league eight times (with five of those coming consecutively from 1957 to 1961).
He'd also go and lead the league in ERA three times, shutouts four times, strikeouts four times, and various other key stats 17 times!
He was named to fourteen all-star games, won the Cy Young Award in it's second year of existence in 1957, and also managed to slam 35 career home runs as a batter before he retired after the 1965 season.
The man was just incredible, and I wish to high heck I could have seen him pitch in his prime!
So, even though the man missed 3 seasons early on due to the war between 1943 and 1945, he STILL retired with 363 career wins, along with 63 shutouts and 2583 strikeouts over 750 games.
There are so many awesome quips and quotes regarding Spahn, or spoken by Spahn himself, that I just ask you read anything you can about him, whether it's a book, an article, or even his Wikipedia entry!
An incredible baseball life to say the least!
One odd thing I noticed: for some reason Spahn received a Hall of Fame vote in 1958 while still an active player (and WOULD be for another seven years!).
Anyone know the story behind this?
Needless to say, he was elected to the Hall on his first eligible year on the ballot, and went on to have an award named after him for the Major League's best left-handed pitcher.
And I haven't EVEN gone into his stellar military career!
Man, what an amazing man.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Giovanni -- I'm a big Warren Spahn fan too though I too never saw him pitch. That one vote as an active player was explained on Hardball Times a few years ago. For a while after the Hall was started, literally every player was eligible for election to the Hall of Fame -- whether active or not and without any 5-year waiting period. It led to several future Hall of Famers getting single votes for the Hall while still playing, such as Joe DiMaggio and, in 1958, Spahnie.

    Here's the link to that story: http://www.hardballtimes.com/getting-one-vote-for-the-hall-of-fame/

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