Appel: The strange case of Spahn v. Messner, Inc.

From SABR member Marty Appel at The National Pastime Museum on October 27, 2016:

Warren Spahn died in 2003 at the age of 82, and his legacy in baseball not only remains strong, but some of his accomplishments may never be matched in our lifetime.

He is, for instance, the winningest left-hander in baseball history (363), a total so high that it remains the most wins by any pitcher in the last 100 years. As we are now in an era where 300 seems fairly unlikely to be achieved, it seems safe to say that we will pass the game on to future generations with that benchmark intact.

The active leader today among left-handers is CC Sabathia with 223, followed by Jon Lester with 146. Clayton Kershaw has 126.

Spahn was selected for All-Star teams in 14 seasons and won 20 games 13 times, leading the league eight times. He was 25 when he won his first game, 44 when he won his last. He pitched two no-hitters for the Milwaukee Braves, in 1960 and 1961, when he was over 40 years old. He won the Cy Young Award in 1957 and a World Series ring in the same season.

And he earned a Purple Heart for his World War II service, which included combat at the Battle of the Bulge.


For the purposes of this column, all of that brings us to a 1958 biography of Spahn (The Warren Spahn Story), written by Milton J. Shapiro and published by Messner.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 27, 2016. Last Updated: October 27, 2016.