BEFORE STEROIDS AND PITCH COUNTS THERE WAS WARREN SPAHN


April 13th, 2008

by: our very own “Sports Enthusiast”

Who was Warren Spahn ? He was the most successful Left hander in the history of baseball with 363 wins. For perspective no pitcher with a win past 1930 has more wins. As a child growing up in Milwaukee in the 1950’s it was a thrill on many occasions to see Spahn pitch.

My recent annual trip to my safety deposit box revealed that still tucked safely away is a cherished certificate of authenticity of my attendance at Warren Spahn’s No-Hitter versus the San Francisco
Giants on April 28,1961, at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, before 8518 fans. The certificate, actually a card is not impressive like a stock certificate, but more resembles the type of card you might keep with you for the local coffee shop to have punched allowing the tenth cup to be free. I recall you obtained the card by presenting your rain check from the game and in turn were given the card. There is a place for your signature in the lower right hand corner ,and although not a hand writing expert I am always struck by the bold nature a ten year olds penmanship, probably a reflection of having obtained the cherished memento.

I thought about Warren Spahn this week while watching a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds . The announcers were highlighting the fact that in a game last season Aaron Harang of the Reds had pitched ten innings against the Brewers which is almost never done, in this age of pitch counts and pampered arms. Well next time you see a pitcher being taken out
in the 7th inning because his pitch count is high, probably approaching a 100 pitches, ponder this and realize it will probably never happen again in today’s baseball. On July 2, 1963, Facing the San Francisco Giants, Spahn became locked into a storied pitchers’
duel with 25-year-old Juan Marichal. The score was still 0-0 after more than four hours when Willie Mays hit a game-winning solo home run off Spahn with one out in the bottom of the 16th inning. Marichal ended up throwing 227 pitches in the complete game 1-0 win, while Spahn threw 201 in the loss, allowing nine hits
and one walk. Did I happen to mention “Spahn” was 42 years old at the time !!
Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell, who was in attendance
that night, said of Spahn, “He ought to will his body
to medical science.”

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One Comment on “BEFORE STEROIDS AND PITCH COUNTS THERE WAS WARREN SPAHN”

  1. tom regan Says:

    Who is this guy ?!


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