TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Rich Klein or Grand Prairie, TX, who correctly stated the player whom Darrell Evans pinch-hit for was Claude Raymond (adding he of the unzipped fly in the 1966-67 Topps cards). The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.
NEW TRIVIA CONTEST: By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card. YOU MUST ENTER VIA THE EMAIL AT THE END OF THIS COLUMN. Don't forget to put your mailing address in with the answer so if you win we can send you the gift card in the mail.
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NEW TRIVIA QUESTION: Who was the winning pitcher in Warren Spahn's last game?
ANSWER to the Trivia question in the previous column: The player whom Darrell Evans pinch-hit for was Claude Raymond.
By the time 1960 rolled around, Warren Spahn
had already won 20 or more games in a season nine times. He was 39
years old when the 1960 season began and no one could have foreseen the
Braves hurler would add three more 20 win seasons to his total. No one
in their right mind would expect him to match his single season record
of 23 wins at the age of 42, in 1963.
On the offensive side of the ledger, the usual suspects performed as usual. Hank Aaron had 44 homers again to match his uniform number, Eddie Mathews hit 23 and drew nearly as many walks (124) as hits (144).
After Aaron's .319, Joe Torre clocked in at .293 and Lee Maye hit .271, but the rest of the squad was mainly under .250. No one on the bench batted better than .236 and most were not good defenders.
So how in the world did the ace of the staff, 42-year old Warren Spahn win 23 of his teams 84 wins. The Braves finished 84-78 in sixth place.
The Braves could score runs in bunches and while there were a couple close games early on, Spahn was 4-1 by the end of April. Included was a 4-hit shutout of the Phillies. In May he was 3-2. June saw him pick up a 4-0 record with a pair of three-hit shutouts. Again he blanked the Phillies and then shutout the Dodgers, besting Don Drysdale 1-0.
July was a little sloppy for Milwaukee but the ace still managed a 2-2 record with another shutout, this time against the Astros. He was unstoppable in August taking it to a 5-0 record. September was magnificent with a 5-2 record. There was a 3-hitter to shutout the Cubs and then on the final day of the season, with nothing hanging in the balance, he bested the Cubs and Bob Buhl just eight days after blanking the Cubs and Larry Jackson. This time it was a three hitter 2-0 in 1:38.
He was pitching like he was double parked and ready to head on home. He did in grand fashion. Two years later he retired, having won only 13 more games, the final season with the Mets and Giants. He was 44 years old, and finished with 363-245 record. His 3.09 ERA was strong and his 363 wins is good enough for 6th all time, and of course Cooperstown.
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