This article is about the Hall of Fame pitcher. For the annual award given out for the top left-handed pitcher in the majors, see Warren Spahn Award.
Warren Spahn

Warren Spahn

Personal Info
Birth April 23, 1921
Birthplace Buffalo, NY
Death November 24, 2003
Deathplace Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Professional Career
Debut April 19, 1942, Boston Braves vs. New York Giants, Braves Field
Team(s) As Player
Boston/Milwaukee Braves (1942 - 1964)
New York Mets (1965)
San Francisco Giants (1965)
Career Highlights
Atlanta Braves #21 Retired
National League All-Star: 1947, 1949-1954, 1956-1959, 1961-1963
1953 National League The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award
1957 Cy Young Award
1957 National League The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award
1958 National League The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award
1961 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
1961 National League The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award
6th on the all-time list for career wins
44th on the all-time list for career games pitched
8th on the all-time list for career innings pitched
22nd on the all-time list for career strikeouts
21st on the all-time list for career complete games
6th on the all-time list for career shutouts
Pitched two no-hitters in his career

Warren Edward Spahn (April 23, 1921November 24, 2003) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for 21 seasons, all in the National League. Although never quite as dominating as some, he was both astonishingly consistent and durable. He won 20 games in 13 different seasons, and compiled a 23-7 record when he was aged 42. He won more games than any other left-handed pitcher, or any other pitcher who played his entire career in the post-1920 live-ball era, and is acknowledged as one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in Major League Baseball history.

Baseball Career

Baseball Hof
Warren Spahn
is a member of
the Baseball
Hall of Fame
Spahn was born in Buffalo, New York. In 1940 he signed with the Braves organization. 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. Spahn won more games than any other lefty (363) and is the fifth-winningest pitcher in MLB, trailing only Cy Young (511), Walter Johnson (417), Grover Cleveland Alexander (373), and Christy Mathewson (373) on the all-time list.[1]

Spahn also threw two no-hitters, won 3 ERA titles, appeared in 14 All-Star games, and holds the National League record for career home runs by a pitcher with 35. Spahn led the National League in wins eight times, including five seasons in a row (1949, 1950, 1953, 1957-1961) and complete games nine seasons, seven consecutively (1949, 1951, 1957-63); these numbers are major league records. He won the Major League Cy Young Award in 1957. Spahn's 13 20-game seasons is easily the most in the lively ball era (since 1920). Lefty Grove and Jim Palmer had 8, and Bob Lemon and Ferguson Jenkins had 7.

On June 14, 1952 Spahn struck out 18 Cubs in a 3-1, 15 inning loss to Chicago.

Spahn pitched in the World Series for the Braves in 1948, 1957, and 1958. During the 1948 season, he combined with teammate Johnny Sain to anchor a pitching rotation that was generally considered to be exceptionally weak otherwise, resulting in the saying, "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

World War II

Spahn served in the United States Army in World War II and was wounded in Europe. He was awarded Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for bravery. He saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and at the Ludendorff Bridge (the famous bridge at Remagen) as a combat engineer, and was awarded a battlefield commission. He was the only one of major league baseball's military who earned a battlefield commission.


Spahn died at age 82, apparently of natural causes, at his home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He is interred in the Elmwood Cemetery in Hartshorne.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, his first year of eligibility.

In 1999, he ranked Number 21 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Another honoree, Sandy Koufax, joked, "He should be on the All-Century Team, since he pitched most of the century."


"Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing."

"I'm probably the only guy who worked for Stengel before and after he was a genius." (on having played for manager Casey Stengel with the Braves and Mets, but not when Stengel was winning multiple World Series with the New York Yankees)

See also

External links


  1. A 19th-century pitcher Pud Galvin, won 364 games. Galvin's first four wins, however, came in 1875, in the National League predecessor National Association (NA)., which does not rank as an official major league..
Preceded by:
Don Newcombe
Cy Young Award
Succeeded by:
Bob Turley
Preceded by:
Don Drysdale
Major League Player of the Month
August 1960
Succeeded by:
Ken Boyer
Preceded by:
Frank Robinson
Major League Player of the Month
August 1961
Succeeded by:
Jim O'Toole
Preceded by:
Dick Groat
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
Succeeded by:
Robin Roberts
Major League Baseball | MLB All-Century Team

Nolan Ryan | Sandy Koufax | Cy Young | Roger Clemens | Bob Gibson | Walter Johnson | Warren Spahn | Christy Mathewson | Lefty Grove
Johnny Bench | Yogi Berra | Lou Gehrig | Mark McGwire | Jackie Robinson | Rogers Hornsby | Mike Schmidt | Brooks Robinson | Cal Ripken, Jr. | Ernie Banks | Honus Wagner
Babe Ruth | Hank Aaron | Ted Williams | Willie Mays | Joe DiMaggio | Mickey Mantle | Ty Cobb | Ken Griffey, Jr. | Pete Rose | Stan Musial

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