Monday, September 20, 2021

Warren Spahn Wins 23 at Age 42


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.

Just a note to add; If you look at the top right hand corner of the side bar you will see a link to daily sports scores. We made an agreement with Baseball 24 in a mutual sharing situation. Hope its helpful to fans of several sports.

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.

The '63 season was a rather strange one for the Milwaukee Braves. The starting pitching was not bad but not spectacular, aside from Spahn. Spahn completed 22 of his 33 starts for 259 innings on his way to a 23-7 record. Overworked Denny Lemaster registered a 3.04 ERA but pitched 31 of his 46 games as a starter. His 11-14 record showed his overwork. The bullpen was a mess. 
   (Spahn's 300th win)
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.

TRIVIA CONTEST; After reading this column you can enter the weekly trivia contest for a chance to win a Starbucks Gift Card. Enter via the following email. Send 1) your answer to the trivia question at the top of the column, 2) your name, address and email so where we know where to send the card if you win 3) any comment you have on the column. One winner will be selected at random each week based on correct answers with the odds being based on the number of correct entries.  Please cut and paste or enter the following email into your email system.

                             SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO;  
Need to get out of a baseball hitting slump, or a golf swing slump? Order my new book "Beating the Slump; An athlete's guide to a better career." See it on Amazon for only $5.99. That is for the Paperback, you can also order Kindle on that link. You can also order paperback copies directly from me via the email below for my other books.

You can get a signed paper back copy of the above book "Tales of My Baseball Youth - a child of the sixties"  for $15 Shipping Included 
Use PayPal to or contact us at the same email for other payment. 

Thank you to those of you who purchased my book after reading this column.    



No comments:

Post a Comment