Sunday, September 20, 2015

HALL OF FAME #32: BOB LEMON: CLASS OF 1976

Former Cleveland Indians pitching great and former manager Bob Lemon is the next inductee to get a card in my running series for the 1970's.
Check it out:


Lemon was nearing the end of his Hall eligibility in 1976 when the BBWA finally voted him in with 78.6% of the vote.
By no means a "sure thing", he did however put up some very impressive numbers that were hampered by military service during World War II.
Over the course of his 13-year career, he only actually put in 10 full seasons, yet he posted an incredible seven 20-win campaigns!
Along the way as part of the legendary Indians rotation that also included Early Wynn, Mike Garcia and a dude named Bob Feller, Lemon led the league in wins three times, complete games five times, shutouts (with 10) once, and was named to seven straight all-star teams between 1948-1954.
When he retired after the 1958 season, he finished with a 207-128 record with a 3.32 earned run average, 31 shutouts and 1277 K's over 460 games (350 of which were starts), and 2850 innings pitched.
After his playing days were over he went on to a respectable managerial career, leading the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees between 1970 and 1982.
Of course he's remembered as the skipper who took over the famous "Bronx Zoo" Yankees in 1978 and led them to an incredible drive that saw them go 48-20.
That drive eventually tying the Boston Red Sox and forcing the "Bucky &^%$% Dent Game", and a World Championship over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If not for the War, we could easily be looking at a near-300 game winner being that he didn't even start playing until he was 25.
Nevertheless, Cooperstown came calling and he found his place alongside former teammates Feller and Wynn. 
Three Hall of Fame starters on one rotation. Awesome…

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