Born in Orient, Iowa, Vance played a decade in the minors before establishing himself as a big league player in 1922 with the Brooklyn Dodgers at the age of 31, when he went 18-12 with a 3.70 ERA and a league-leading 134 strikeouts. During his playing career, he gave his birthyear as 1893, burt revealed his true age when elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. His best individual season came in 1924, when he led the National League in wins (28), strikeouts (262) and ERA (2.16) (see Triple crown) en route to winning the National League MVP award, defeating Rogers Hornsby, who batted .424 - but had subpar power numbers.
Vance's play began to decline in the 1930s, and after bouncing to the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and back to the Dodgers, he retired after the 1935 season. Vance led the league in ERA three times (inmcluding 1930, the year of the pitcher), wins twice, and established a National League record by leading the league in strikeouts in seven consecutive years (1922 - 1928). He retired with a 197-140 record, 2045 strikeouts and a 3.24 ERA -remarkable numbers considering he only saw 33 innings of big league play during his twenties. His 1924 season is arguably the best overall season enjoyed by any major league pitcher during the 1920's. Surveys have rated him the greatest pitcher ever to serve for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
On September 24, 1924, Vance struck out three batters on nine pitches in the second inning of a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. Vance became the fifth National League pitcher and the seventh pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. He finished the season with more strikeouts than any two National League pitchers combined (Burleigh Grimes with 135 and Dolf Luque with 86 were second and third respectively).
Vance pitched a no-hitter in 1925. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, along with Joe DiMaggio, Teddy Lyons, and Gabby Hartnett. This is the last time that 4 men were chosen by the BBWAA in one election. (Three men were chosen in 1972, 1984, 1990, and 1999.) In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. Vance is mentioned in the poem "Lineup for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:
|Lineup for Yesterday|
|V is for Vance,|
The Dodgers' own Dazzy;
None of his rivals
Could throw as fast as he.
|— Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)|
- Triple Crown
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career wins
- List of Major League Baseball ERA champions
- List of Major League Baseball strikeout champions
- List of Major League Baseball wins champions
- Pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches
- Top 100 strikeout pitchers of all time
- Major League Baseball titles leaders
- List of Major League Baseball no-hitters
- baseballhalloffame.org – Hall of Fame biography page
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|Awards and achievements|
|Brooklyn Robins Opening Day |
|National League Strikeout Champion|
|National League Pitching Triple Crown|
|National League ERA Champion|
|National League Wins Champion|
Donohue, Kremer, Meadows & Rhem
September 13, 1925