|Braves' ace turns in one of the best earned run average of all-time. |
Although the Atlanta Braves weren't going any place in 1967 and finished in seventh place in the then 10 team, with one, NL division, starter and reliever Phil Niekro, one of the top pitchers in baseball history, captured the major league ERA Crown with an resounding 1.87 mark. The 6ft, 1inch, 180-pounder posted a 11-9 W/L record, collected 9 saves, and yielded just 164 hits in 207 innings.
The 28-year old right-handed completed 10-of-20 starts, appeared in 46 games, held his opponents to a low .218 batting average and surrendered just 9 homers. And, the knuckle-ball hurler apparently had no trouble getting his fluttering pitch over the plate. Phil Niekro walked only 55 batters while striking out 129.
1967 ERA Leaders - National League:
Phil Niekro, Braves 1.87 ERA... Jim Bunning, Phillies 2.29 ERA... Chris Short, Phillies 2.39 ERA... Gary Nolan, Reds 2.58 ERA... Gaylord Perry, SF Giants 2.61 ERA... Bill Singer, LA Dodgers 2.64 ERA... Dick Hughes, Cardinals 2.67... Don Drysdale, Dodgers 2.74 ERA... Ken Johnson, Braves 2.74 ERA... Juan Marichal, Giants 2.76...
Note: 5 of the top 10 NL ERA leaders went on to be voted into baseball's Hall of Fame. Niekro, Bunning, Perry, Drysdale and Marichal.
* Chris Short, Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher, LH - armed with a natural fastball, he developed one of the best braking curveball in the majors during this era. Voted to the All-Star Game in 1964 and 1967, he posted a W/L record of 17-9 in '64 and his 2.20 ERA was 3rd best in the NL. From 1965 thru 1969, the 6ft, 4inch, lefty complied records of 18-11, 20-10, 9-11 and 19-13.
Chris Short career stats: 135-132 record, 3.43 ERA, 501 Games, completed 88-of-308 starts, 2215 hits in 2325 innings, 18 Shutouts, 24 Saves, yielded 183 career homers, 1692Ks, 806 walks.
* Milt Pappas, Cincinnati Reds Pitcher RH - his 16 wins in 1967 led the Reds' pitching staff, and in his first 11 seasons in the majors, he never had a losing year. He broke into the big-leagues with the Baltimore Orioles back in 1957 as a 18-year old flame thrower and was traded to Cincinnati on Dec 9, 1965 in a deal that sent Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson to Baltimore. Pappas won 15 or more games in seven different seasons.
Milt Pappas career: 209-164 record, 3.40 ERA, 520 Games, completed 129-of-465 starts, 3046 hits in 3186 innings, 43 shutouts, yielded 298 homers, 1728Ks, 858 walks.
Rick Wise, Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher, RH - he was just 18-years old when he was a rookie for the Phils back in 1964. This season 1967, the then 22-year old right-hander hurled three shutouts en-route to a 11-11 W/L record, 3.28 ERA, appeared in 36 games, and completed 6-of-25 starts. Rick Wise career: 188-181 record, 3.69 ERA, 506 Games, completed 138-of-455 starts, 3227 hits in 3127 innings, 30 shutouts, yielded 261 homers, 1647Ks, 804 walks.
Bill Singer, Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher, RH - he broke into the majors with the Dodgers as a 20-year old in September of 1964. After spending most of '65-'66 in the minors, he complied a solid 12-8 record in 204 innings in '67, his 2.64 earned run average was 3rd best in the league, and his 169 strikeouts was second on the Dodgers, trailing only Hall of Famer Don Drysdale. Twice in his career Singer won 20 games - 20-12 with Dodgers in '69 and 20-14 with the California Angels in '73.
Bill Singer career: 118-127 record, 3.39 ERA, 326 Games, completed 94-of-308 starts, 1952 hits in 2174 innings, 24 shutouts, yielded 132 homers, 1515Ks, 781 walks.
Where There Is No Wood, the Fire Goes Out, So Where There Is No Talebearer, History Ceases.
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