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Harry Brecheen

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  • Harry Brecheen

    Similar to Sal Maglie, in that he got a late start, and managed to put up a nice career despite doing basically all of his work in his 30s. Why didn;t he get a chance sooner? Was he a guy who just flourished due to the depleted war leagues?

  • #2
    He had an excellent 1948 so he wasn't just a war-period guy.
    Unfortunately, never really took off, despite some other good years and some mediocre ones.

    By the by here's what Stan Musial had to say about him in "The Man's Own Story" (pg. 267):

    "The Cat was dead game, a good clutch pitcher with good control and one of the best screwballs I ever saw. He was a terrific fielder, pretty good hitter and not afraid to knock a hitter down to help himself or the Cardinals. He had an inspirational effect on a ball club."
    "The first draft of anything is crap." - Ernest Hemingway

    There's no such thing as an ultimate stat.


    • #3
      I read he got the nickname "The Cat" because he was an incredibly quick and agile fielder off the mound
      1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
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      • #4
        Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
        I read he got the nickname "The Cat" because he was an incredibly quick and agile fielder off the mound
        Harvey Haddix became The Kitten" because he was a small, "crafty lefty" type of pitcher who followed Breechen in St. Louis.


        • #5
          The topic of this thread might be more fit for the History forum. Here's a Harry the Cat thread we already have though:


          • #6
            Great screwball, probably the best of his era.
            "Allen Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off today."--1920s article


            • #7
              If you look at Brecheen, you'll see that (A) he never racked up a lot of decisions, and (B) out of 318 games, 78 were relief appearances. Brecheen was good at what he did, and he was an All-Star, but not every All-Star is a HOFer. If I was going to put a great screwballer in the HOF that isn't there now, it would be Mike Cuellar.

              Indeed, Cuellar and Dave McNally are the guys that stand ahead of Brecheen, Mort Cooper, Sal Maglie, and a number of such pitchers. Cuellar and McNally were front line starters and guys that were the guts of pennant winning teams in competitive eras. If Cuellar and McNally aren't HOFers, Brecheen and Cooper are, to be kind, ridiculous as candidates, even in terms of HOF potential.
              "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

              NL President Ford Frick, 1947


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