Monday, February 11, 2008

1953 Topps Project - Post #5

#147 - Warren Spahn - Boston Braves

Five posts into the project, here's the first hall-of-famer!

Collecting cards as a kid, Warren Spahn was a legend to me. A hall-of-famer whose name I'd heard brought up in conversation about the greatest pitchers in baseball countless times. I never knew much about Warren then, other than the fact that he was an outstanding left-handed pitcher who retired sometime around the mid-1960s, and that I had little hope whatsoever of aquiring his cards.

Until recently I had no idea just how good he was. Spahn won a total of 363 games, the most wins for any pitcher who played his entire career in the post-1920 era. He won 20 or more games in 13 seasons and compiled a 23 win season at age 42! I'll be happy if Curt Schilling and his cortisone-injected shoulder come up with 3 wins this upcoming season (after reading that, I'll never look at strands of spaghetti the same again).

Most amazingly, Spahn was able to amass these numbers despite spending three years of his early career serving in the military. Without looking it up, I'm willing to bet Warren is the only 300 game winner to also earn a Purple Heart on the battlefield. He ended his career with a 3.09 ERA, 2 no-hitters, and more All-Star appearances than any other pitcher in the modern era. Major League Baseball now presents the Warren Spahn award yearly to the best left-handed pitcher. The case can easily be made that Warren is one of the best pitchers of all time, almost certainly the best southpaw...

1 comment:

dayf said...

Awesome card... Cards like this is why this is my favorite set.

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