Friday, March 16, 2007
Top 10 Twins Pitchers of the '60s
Good Morning! It is Friday and I am back today with another Top Ten list for you to (hopefully) enjoy! Previously, we have looked at the Top 10 Twins Hitters of the decades (1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Now, it is time to start a series looking at the Top Twins Pitchers of each decade. Today, we will start with the Twins Top 10 Pitchers of the 1960s.
*Note - all stats only include the 1961-1969 seasons. Statistics from the days of the Washington Senators or '70s are not included.
**Note 2 - it is really hard to find pictures of a lot of these guys, so I am going to use some old baseball cards. Each picture will be linked to the great Twins Cards website, to their individual page. Be sure to check them out!
#10 Jack Kralick, SP
Originally signed by the White Sox in 1954. He was released by them in 1958, and signed with the Senators in September of 1958. He came to Minnesota with the team and won 13 and 12 games respectively. He pitched over 242 innings both years as well, so when he was traded in May of 1963 to the Indians for Jim Perry, he probably had little left in his left arm. The highlight of his Twins years came on August 26th of 1962. On that day, he retired the first 25 A's batters on his way to a no-hitter. For the decade of the '60s, Kralick ranks 9th in Games Started (75), 9th in Complete Games (19), 10th in Wins (26), 10th in Losses (26), 5th in Walks per nine innings (2.35), 10th in strikeouts (290) and 9th in Innings Pitched (510 1/3).
#9 Dick Stigman, LHP
Dick Stigman was born in the small, central Minnesota town of Nimrod. Yet, he signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1954. After debuting with the Indians in 1960, he was traded to the Twins before the 1962 season along with Vic Power in exchange for Pedro Ramos. The lefty pitched primarily in relief in 1962, but he was a starter the next two years. In 1963, he went 15-15 with a 3.25 ERA in 241 innings. His 15 complete games was good for 3rd in the American League. He made his lone All-Star appearance. In both 1963 an 1964, he was 4th in the league in strikeouts per nine innings. He stayed with the team and was part of that magical 1965 team. Before the 1966 season, he was traded with a player to be named later (who became Jose Calero) to the Red Sox for Russ Nixon and Chuck Schilling. For the '60s, Stigman ranks 8th in Games Pitched (138), 8th in Games Started (85), 8th in Games Finished (28), 8th in Complete Games (26), tied for 7th in Wins (37), 6th in Losses (37), 5th in Saves (7), 3rd in Strikeouts per nine innings (7.52), 5th in Strikeouts (538) and 8th in Innings Pitched (643 2/3).
#8 Jim Merritt, LHP
So, we start this list with three straight lefties. Jim Merritt signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1961. He was then drafted by the Twins in 1961s First-Year draft in November of 1961 (if someone wants to explain this to me, please do). He debuted with the Twins in 1965 at the age of 21. 1967 was his best year. He went 13-7 with a 2.53 ERA, which was 5th in the league, in 227 2/3 innings. In 1968, he went 12-16, but he had an ERA of 3.25. Now, my initial thought was that a 3.25 ERA was really good. That year, the league average ERA was 3.10! I believe it was the following year that the mounds were raised. In his four years with the Twins, he had a WHIP of less than 1.15 each season. Once, he struck out seven straight batters in a game. For the Twins in the '60s, he ranks 10th in Games (122), 7th in Games Started (89), 9th in Games Finished (18), 7th in Complete Games (28), tied for 7th in Wins (37), 5th in Losses (41), 6th in ERA (3.03), 5th in strikeouts per nine innings (6.91), 1st in Walks per nine innings (1.77), 10th in Home Runs per nine innings (0.92), 6th in strikeouts (527) and 6th in Innings Pitched (686 2/3).
#7 Dean Chance, RHP
Dean Chance signed with the Orioles in 1959. He spent several seasons with the Angels. After the 1966 season, he was trade with a Player to be named later (Jackie Hernandez) to the Twins in exchange for Jimmie Hall, Don Mincher and Pete Cimino. He the pitched for the Twins until he was traded after the 1969 season with Bob Miller, Craig Nettles and Ted Uhlaender to the Indians for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams. But in those three years, Chance was very productive for the Twins. Right away in 1967, he was an All Star, and the league's comeback player of the year. He went 20-14 with a 2.73 ERA in 283 2/3 innings (which led the league, as did his 18 complete games). On August 25th, he threw a no-hitter against Cleveland. He was 16-16 with a 2.53 ERA in 1968. He threw another 292 innings, good for 2nd in the league. It may not surprise people to know that he was only able to manage 88 1/3 innings in 1969. When Chance was on the mound, his delivery was very similar to that of Fernando Valenzuela (only right-handed). He fully turned his back to the hitter. So, for the decade of the '60s, Chance ranks 6th in Games Started (93), 6th in Complete Games (34), 6th in Wins (41), 8th in Losses (34), 10th in Win Percentage (.547), tied for 3rd in Shutouts (11), 3rd in ERA (2.67), 6th in strikeouts per nine innings (6.83), 4th in walks per nine innings (2.25), 3rd in Home Runs per nine innings (0.52), 7th in strikeouts (504) and 7th in Innings Pitched (664).
#6 Jim "Mudcat" Grant, RHP
Mudcat Grant... do we want to talk about his baseball career with the Twins, or should we talk about his time as the lead singer of Mudcat and the Kittens? How about the baseball talk. Grant signed with Cleveland in 1954. He stayed with the Indian organization until June 15, 1964, when he was traded to the Twins for Lee Strange and George Banks. He immediately paid dividends for the Twins. He was 11-9 with a 2.82 ERA the rest of that season. In 1965, he was an All Star and finished 6th in MVP voting. He was named The Sporting News AL Pitcher of the Year. He went 21-7 with a 3.30 ERA in 270 1/3 innings. The 21 wins led the league. That year, in the World Series, Grant went 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 23 innings. He also was 2-8 with a double and a big three run homer. He threw another 249 innings in 1966 and was 13-13 with a 3.25 ERA. Following the 1967 season, he was traded along with Zoilo Versalles to the Dodgers for Johnny Roseboro, Ron Perranoski and Bob Miller. For the '60s, Grant ranks 9th in Games Pitched (129), 5th in Games started (111), 5th in Complete Games (35), 5th in Wins (50), 7th in Losses (35), tied for 3rd in Win Percentage (.588), 5th in Shutouts (10), 10th in ERA (3.35), 2nd in Walks per nine innings (1.88), 9th in Strikeouts (377) and 5th in Innings Pitched (780 2/3).
#5 Dave Boswell, RHP
Dave Boswell signed with the Minnesota Twins before the 1963 season. He pitched for the Twins starting in 1964 and stayed with the team until his release prior to the 1971 season. In those years, he had an ERA+ between 105 and 115 four times. He ERA was under 3.40 five seasons. Although he pitched with various success for the Twins, 1969 was his best season. That year, he went 20-12 with a 3.23 ERA in 256 1/3 innings. It was interesting to read that he had an off-field field with Bob Allison during the 1969 season. He was punched by manager Billy Martin. For the decade of the '60s, Boswell ranks 6th in Games Pitched (169), tied for 3rd in Games Started (135), 3rd in Complete Games (37), 4th in Wins (64), 3rd in Losses (47), 5th in Win Percentage (.577), 8th in ERA (3.28), 1st in strikeouts per nine innings (7.63), 9th in Home Runs per nine innings (0.87), 3rd in Strikeouts (820) and 4th in Innings Pitched (967 2/3).
#4 Al Worthington, RHP
Al Worthington came up with the New York Giants in 1953 and followed that team to San Francisco. He then pitched for the Red Sox, the White Sox and the Reds before the Twins purchased his contract from them in June of 1964. Up until that point, Worthington's career was nothing spectacular. He was 35 years old, so there is no way that the Twins could have known that he would become the best reliever in the league for the next five years. He had 21 saves in 1965. He led the league with 18 saves in 1968. From 1964-1968, Worthington's ERA was under 2.85. In 1969, his ERA jumped up over four, but he was the 2nd oldest player in the league, behind only the 46 year old Hoyt Wilhelm. His "Most Similar Player" is another former Twins reliever, Steve Bedrosian. For the '60s, Worthington ranks 2nd in Games Pitched (327), 1st in Games Finished (213), tied for 7th in Wins (37), 9th in Losses (31), 1st in Saves (87), 2nd in ERA (2.66), 2nd in strikeouts per nine innings (7.59), 4th in HR per nine innings (0.53), 8th in strikeouts (399) and 10th in Innings Pitched (473 1/3).
#3 Jim Perry, RHP
Jim Perry won 215 games in his big league career, and it isn't even enough to lead his family in the category. His brother, Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, won 314 games in his career. Jim Perry signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1956. On May 2nd, 1963, he came to the Twins in a deal for Jack Kralick. Each year, Perry was a part-time starter. When Billy Martin took over as manager in 1969, he made Perry his Ace.That year, he pitched in 46 games (36 starts). He finished third in the Cy Young vote and went 20-6 with a 2.82 ERA. He threw 261 2/3 innings, the only time that he threw more than 185 innings in his career. In the decade, his ERA+ was over 100 six of seven seasons. It was over 130 four times. For the decade, Perry ranks 3rd in Games Pitched (261), tied for 3rd in Games Started (135), 5th in Games Finished (34), 5th in Complete Games (35), 3rd in Wins (74), 4th in Losses (45), 1st in Win Percentage (.622), tied for 3rd in Shutouts (11), 4th in ERA (2.88), 6th in Walks per nine innings (2.60), 5th in HR per nine innings (0.75), 4th in Strikeouts (647) and 3rd in Innings Pitched (1,116 2/3).
#2 Camilo Pascual, RHP
Pascual had signed out of Cuba in 1952 with the Washington Senators. He debuted with the team in 1954 and pitched out of the bullpen for a couple of years. When the Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961, Pascual was already an established starter. In 1961, he was 27 years old and already in his eighth big league season. He won 20 games in 1962. He went 21-9 with a 2.46 ERA. He made 31 starts and completed 18 games. From 1961-1964, he went a combined 71-48. Over the next two years, he made only spot starts and still went 17-9. Pascual led the league in strikeouts in 1961, 1962 and 1963 and was 2nd in 1964. He pitched in three All-Star games. After the 1966 season, he was traded with Bernie Allen to the Senators for Ron Kline. For the decade of the '60s, Pascual ranks 5th in Games Pitched (184), 2nd in Games Started (179), 2nd in Complete Games (72), 2nd in Wins (88), 2nd in Losses (57), 2nd in Win Percentage (.607), 1st in Shutouts (18), 9th in ERA (3.31), 4th in strikeouts per innings innings (6.96), 10th in Walks per nine innings (3.02), 8th in HR per nine innings (0.86), 2nd in Strikeouts (994) and 2nd in Innings Pitched (1,284 2/3).
#1 Jim Kaat, LHP
Jim Kaat signed with the Washington Senators in 1957. He made his debut in 1959 (and then pitched in four decades). He spent all nine seasons of the decade starting for the Twins. He was an All Star in 1962 and 1966. In 1966, he was The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year for the American League. He went 25-13 with a 2.75 ERA in 304 2/3 innings. He also finished fifth in AL MVP voting. In eight of the nine seasons, he threw over 200 innings. He had an ERA+ over 105 eight of the nine years. In the 1965 World Series, he was 1-2 in three starts. He could also hit a little. In the decade, he hit 11 home runs. In the '60s, he won the first eight of his 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards. For the decade of the '60s, Kaat ranks 1st in Games Pitched (340), 1st in Games Started (307), 1st in Complete Games (102), 1st in Wins (141), 1st in Losses (114), 9th in Win Percentage (.553), 2nd in Shutouts (16), 7th in ERA (3.22), 10th in strikeouts per nine innings (5.84), 3rd in Walks per nine innings (2.19), tied for 6th in HR per nine innings (0.81), 1st in Strikeouts (1,411) and 1st in Innings Pitched (2,173 1/3).
The '60s were a great decade for the Twins and a big part of that was because they had some very good pitchers. Although other than Kaat, few lasted more than four or five years, they were very productive years. Many of these names were names from that 1965 World Series team. These guys played for the Twins 40-45 years ago. These names are legendary, so it is fun to look back at just what they did and for how long. I hope you have enjoyed this look back.
Any thoughts on the Top 10 Twins Pitchers of the '60s? I came up with this list relatively quickly, so please feel free to argue and debate. Send me an e-mail or leave some Comments below.
OK, so we are now up over 70 entrants in the 1987 Twins DVD Contest. Remember the deadline for the contest is tonight (Friday) at 8:00 central time, so be sure to get your list of prospects in.
Here is a great story on North Dakota native Darin Erstad of the Chicago White Sox.
Ramon Ortiz went four innings and gave up only two unearned runs yesterday as his impressive spring continues. Glen Perkins then struck out three hitters in two perfect innings. Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless frame. Pat Neshek struck out two and got the win in his inning of work. Josh Rabe is doing work to at least keep his name in the opening day roster picture. He played LF and went 3-3. Garrett Jones has really struggled with the bat this spring, but he came through with a big two run double that gave the Twins the lead.
Former Twins Update (games of Thursday) - Chris Gomez went 0-3, and Terry Tiffee went 1-3 for the O's against the Twins yesterday. Chad Moeller went 1-2 for the Reds. Michael Ryan went 3-5 with three runs scored for the Pirates. Jacque Jones was 2-4 with a double for the Cubs. Augie Ojeda went 1-1 with a two-run double for the D-Backs. Shannon Stewart had a double. Luis Maza was 1-1 for the Dodgers. Joe Beimel struck out two in a shutout inning for a Save for the Dodgers.
Here is a good Joe Christensen article on Glen Perkins. Apparently Perkins is "Yowser!" I think that is good!
OK, I must sleep! Have a great weekend!|
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CONTEST NUMBER ONE!
Well, I came up with a simple way to give away the first of two 1987 Twins World Series DVDs with unedited broadcasts of each of the seven games, plus bonus features.
Take a look at the left side of this screen. You see the Prospect Watch section? It includes Denard Span, Matt Moses, Trevor Plouffe, Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Matt Garza, Scott Baker and Pat Neshek. Last spring, I asked readers to help me decide which six players should be there to start the season. For the most part, those players will remain on there until they have established themselves in the big leagues.
To enter this contest, it will be very simple. All I'm asking for is for you to send in your choices for who you would like to see in the Prospect Watch this year. If you e-mail me your six choices, your name will be thrown into a hat. On Friday night at 8:00 central time, I will put all of the names into a SethSpeaks.net baseball cap and draw out the name of the winner of the first DVD.
Who is eligible for the contest? Well anyone really. Twins fans, other team's fan, current Twins, current Twins minor leaguers, their families. Anyone really, except for my family since I may let them watch mine.
Who is eligible for The Prospect Watch? Prospects, minor leaguers, players who have remaining rookie eligibility. For a list of 51 names of eligible players, be sure to review my most recent Top 50 Twins Prospect update, and for more information on those players, click here. So again, take a minute and e-mail me your six Twins prospects and be entered in for this great giveaway. I will cover shipping costs.