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Warren Edward Spahn

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Warren Edward Spahn

Born : 23 April 1921
City : Buffalo, New York, United States
Rank : ( 202 )
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Warren Edward Spahn Biography

Warren Edward Spahn (April 23, 1921 – November 24, 2003) was a Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He played his entire 21-year baseball career in the National League. He won 20 games or more in 13 seasons, including a 23–7 record when he was age 42. Spahn was the 1957 Cy Young Award winner, and was the runner-up three times, all during the period when just one award was given. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, with 83% of the total vote. (His eligibility was delayed, under the rules of the time, by two years of token minor league play.)

Spahn won 363 games, more than any other left-handed pitcher in history, and more than any other pitcher who played his entire career in the post-1920 live-ball era. He is acknowledged as one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball history. The Warren Spahn Award, given to the major leagues' best left-handed pitcher, is named after him.

Baseball career

His major league career began in 1942 with the Braves and he spent all but one year with that franchise, first in Boston and then in Milwaukee. He finished his career in 1965 with the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. With 363 wins, Spahn is the 6th most winning pitcher in history, trailing only Cy Young (511), Walter Johnson (417), Grover Cleveland Alexander (373), Christy Mathewson (373), and Pud Galvin (364) on MLB's all-time list.

Spahn also threw two no-hitters, and won 3 ERA titles. He appeared in 14 All-Star Games, the most of any pitcher in the 20th century.

Spahn acquired the nickname "Hooks", not so much because of his pitching, but due to the prominent shape of his nose. He had once been hit in the face by a thrown ball that he was not expecting, and his broken nose settled into a hook-like shape. In Spahn's final season, during his stint with the Mets, Yogi Berra came out of retirement briefly and caught 4 games, one of them with Spahn pitching. Yogi later told reporters, "I don't think we're the oldest battery, but we're certainly the ugliest."

Retirement

Spahn managed the Tulsa Oilers for five seasons, winning 372 games from 1967 to 1971. His 1968 club won the Pacific Coast League championship. He also coached for the Mexico City Tigers, and pitched a handful of games there. He was a pitching coach with the Cleveland Indians, in the minor leagues for the California Angels, and for six years, with Japan's Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Death

Spahn died of natural causes, at his home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He is interred in the Elmwood Cemetery in Hartshorne. After his death a street was named after him in Buffalo, New York that connects Abbott Road with Seneca Street, through Cazenovia Park, in the heart of South Buffalo. The street is near South Park High School, Spahn's alma mater.

A few months before his death, Spahn attended the unveiling of a statue outside Atlanta's Turner Field. The statue depicts Spahn in the middle of one of his leg kicks. The statue was created by Shan Gray, who has sculpted numerous other statues of athletes which stand in Oklahoma, including another one of Spahn that resides in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

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