Belated birthday wishes to Elroy Face who turned 89 earlier this week (February 20). Face helped to invent the role of the closer and had an incomparable 18-1 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1959, setting the record for relief wins in a season (18) that has never been seriously challenged. He broke Jim Konstanty's record of 16 relief wins for the 1950 Phillies. Face spent 15 of his 16 major league seasons with the Pirates (1953, 1955-1968) and made three consecutive all-star game appearances (1959-1961). He also pitched briefly for the Detroit Tigers and Montreal Expos. At present, Face is listed by Wikipedia as the 98th oldest currently living major leaguer.
Last edited by philliesfiend55; 02-23-2017 at 06:48 AM.
Can't tell you how many times I saw Face pitch. Hard-nosed competitor. Even though he was only 5-8 he threw hard. His main pitch was the forkball, which was somewhat like the split finger fastball, but tucked further back between his fingers. He threw it hard, and it usually had a mean break.
I remember listening to the game when Face's 22 game winning streak came to an end. It was in late August or early September of 59 and Charley Neal beat him in the 9th inning of a Sunday game at the Colliseum.