Hardest Luck Pitcher

by the Village Elliott

For Ned Garver (12/25/1925 – 2/26/2017)

Fourteen years Ned Garver pitched in Bigs,
“Hardest Luck” ever hurled in big leagues.
‘Fifty-One last-place Browns:
Twenty games won with clowns,
Greatest year of hard-luck pitching gigs.

 

Ned Garver’s big season came in 1951 with the woeful St. Louis Browns (52 – 102), as he posted a record of 20 – 12 (.625), winning 38.5% of the team’s victories. Garver thus became the only 20th century pitcher to win 20 for a team that lost 100 games. (Steve Carlton, amazingly, went 27 – 10 (.730) for the 1972 last-place Phillies (59-97), losing six games in a seasoned shortened at the beginning by a strike lasting 10 days. Carlton led the National League in wins, ERA and strikeouts, while recording a win in 45.7% of his team’s victories. The strike undoubtedly prevented Carlton from joining Garver as the second 20-game winner on a 100-loss last-place team.)


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