No. 169 Don Drysdale (Number 39 Pitcher)

Don Drysdale was a borderline hall of famer. Drysdale was a big part of Bill James book “The Politics of Glory”. Bill had a player (Phil Rizzuto) and a pitcher who were on the border. Both were close but Bill decided both were not hall of famers but wouldn’t be bad ones if they did get elected. We know more and with analysis Drysdale has moved up. We also have more access to box scores which makes Drysdale look better.

Drysdale was a great strikeout pitcher. He just gets compared to Koufax who was a super strikeout pitcher. However, from 1959 to 1964 Drysdale won 3 strikeout crowns and came in the top 3 all 6 years. Drysdale was fairly consistent with ERA plus. The funny thing is he had his best won-loss records when he doesn’t do quite as good in the category. That and being teammates with Koufax probably overshadowed the job he was doing pitching. Some might thing that Drysdale ranks too high, but I looked at the pitchers below him and I don’t see anybody overwhelming him. I think an argument can be made in Drysdale favorite for each one of them. Arguments can be made the other way, but I’m OK with Drysdale right here.

Don Drysdale was a good-looking man living in LA. It seems the LA players had a good off-season job of appearing on TV programs. I remember seeing Drysdale on “The Brady Bunch” when I was a kid. I looked him up on IMDB and for some reason he appeared on the Donna Reed show four times. I’m guessing he was friends with someone on the show.

Don Drysdale won the Cy Young Award in 1962. This was when there was one award in both leagues. In fact, the Cy Young Award was awarded to only one pitcher for both leagues for 11 years from 1956 to 1966. I recently found out Dodger pitchers won 5 of those awards. Don Newcome won the first one. Then Drysdale won in 1962 with Koufax starting in 1963 winning three of the final four years. The other to win in those four years was Dean Chance in 1964 with the Los Angeles Angels. Which meant someone from Los Angeles won it 5 years in a row. The thing is they all pitched in Dodger stadium, one of the best stadiums to pitch in at the time. Interesting.



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