Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Career wins by age 30

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Career wins by age 30

    I find it interesting to compare careers of Bob Feller, Early Wynn and Warren Spahn. All played at about the same time. Feller and Spahn each lost 3 years of service during WWII; Wynn lost one complete season (1955). But Feller had already won 107 games before he went off to war in 1942, at age 23.

    By age 30 (1949) Feller had 192 career wins.
    By age 30 (1950) Wynn had 101 career wins.
    By age 30 (1951) Spahn had 108 career wins.
    By age 30 (1993) Roger Clemens had 163 career wins.
    (I added Roger Clemens in edit, as an "after-thought".)

    By age 35 (1954) Feller had 262 career wins.
    By age 35 (1955) Wynn had 201 career wins.
    By age 35 (1956) Spahn had 203 career wins.
    By age 35 (1998) Clemens had 233 career wins.

    Yet Feller retired in 1956 with only 266 career wins.
    Wynn retired in 1963 with 300 career wins.
    Spahn retired in 1965 with 363 career wins.
    Clemens retired (?) after the 2005 season with 341 career wins.

    I wonder – what caused Feller to lose his effectiveness at such an early age, after such a fantastic start?
    Was it that he relied too much on his overpowering fastball, and that he never really developed another pitch to help him after his fastball lost its zip? Like Clemens with his "split-finger" pitch?
    Last edited by Appling; 03-17-2006, 12:24 PM.
    Luke

  • #2
    My guess would be that the other two relief on control while Feller relied on his strong fastball. The other two never had great fastballs to begin with. I also suspect that throwing more than 500 innings before his 21st birthday has something to do with it. Pitchers arms develop later and there have been countless stories of pitchers that have flamed out relatively early because of abuse early in their careers.
    I am the author of "Checks and Imbalances" and "The State of Baseball Management."

    Comment


    • #3
      Possibly years Bob Feller spent fighting in WW II aged him more mentally than physically or maybe both.

      Comment


      • #4
        My guess, and it is just an unsubstantiated one at that, is that Feller worked way too hard in 1946 after the long layoff. It looks like a big statistical dropoff for him after 1946.

        Comment


        • #5
          My best guess would be Feller's heavy workload in his formative years from age 19 to 23. Great research by Craig Wright in his book The Diamond Appraised has proved that when pitchers pitch lots of innings at that young age, it hurts their effectiveness in later years. In fact, going to the war might have been good for Feller. Most pitchers with a similar pattern to him are completely burnt out (and out of the majors) by age 30. Feller was still able to be at least okay in his early and mid 30s, and it was probably largely due to a few years of rest from pitching in WWII.

          Comment


          • #6
            Keep in mind that Feller's 192 encompasses 3 and a half seasons that he missed while serving during WWII. That number could have been way way past 200.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Appling
              I wonder – what caused Feller to lose his effectiveness at such an early age, after such a fantastic start?
              Actually, I read Feller himself quoted as saying that he felt a tremendous POP in his shoulder when he was throwing a fastball in May of 1948- it was in all likelhood a torn rotator, but without modern MRI technology who knows?. In any case, The guy lived on the alternation between a high 90's fastball, and a vicious 12-6 curve. That legendary fastball was gone after 48' (he wasn't yet 30 years old at the time!!!)

              This is perfectly evidenced by his statistical record- look at his strikeouts from before 1948 and then afterwards. He had to rely on guile because his velocity was gone for the most part.

              Talk about abuse... look at his 1946 season, which (all things considered) was simply awesome.

              Ted Williams noted in his biography that when Feller came back in 46', he was shocked to see that Feller had developed a new pitch while pitching exhibitions on jetliners during the war. It was a slider, but apparently it was only a nasty "out" pitch when he had the heater to offset it.

              Just for perspective, here's some pitch counts to peruse. These are the estimated leaders for each season post WWII.

              Look at Feller's 1946 total compared to "workhorses" Roy Halladay and Randy Johnson.

              Code:
              Year    Pitcher              Est. Pitches   IP
              2003    Roy Halladay            3950       266
              2002    Randy Johnson           4116       260
              2001    Randy Johnson           4018       250
              2000    Randy Johnson           4067       249
              1999    Randy Johnson           4304       272
              1998    Curt Schilling          4224       269
              1997    Roger Clemens           4099       264
              1996    Pat Hentgen             4198       266
              1993    Randy Johnson           4145       255
              1992    Kevin Brown             4172       266
              1991    Roger Clemens           4128       271
              1990    Dave Stewart            4095       267
              1989    Roger Clemens           4074       253
              1988    Dave Stewart            4414       276
              1987    Charlie Hough           4627       285
              1986    Mike Moore              4290       266
              1985    Fernando Valenzuela     4260       272
              1984    Charlie Hough           4254       266
              1983    Steve Carlton           4597       284
              1982    Steve Carlton           4664       296
              1980    Steve Carlton           4736       304
              1979    Phil Niekro             5346       342
              1978    Phil Niekro             5216       334
              1977    Phil Niekro             5605       330
              1976    Nolan Ryan              4949       284
              1975    Andy Messersmith        4837       322
              1974    Nolan Ryan              5684       333
              1973    Wilbur Wood             5614       359
              1972    Wilbur Wood             5498       377
              1971    Mickey Lolich           5799       376
              1970    Gaylord Perry           5000       329
              1969     Gaylord Perry          5028       325
              1968     Denny McLain           4888       336
              1967     Jim Bunning            4569       302
              1966     Sandy Koufax           4892       323
              1965     Sandy Koufax           4999       336
              1964     Don Drysdale           4709       321
              1963     Don Drysdale           4759       315
              1962     Don Drysdale           4786       314
              1961     Whitey Ford            4420       283
              1960     Larry Jackson          4347       282
              1959     Warren Spahn           4421       292
              1958     Warren Spahn           4362       290
              1957     Early Wynn             4343       263
              1956     Bob Friend             4851       314
              1955     Robin Roberts          4515       305
              1954     Robin Roberts          4872       337
              1953     Robin Roberts          5134       347
              1952     Robin Roberts          4700       330
              1951     Warren Spahn           4838       311
              1950     Vern Bickford          4912       312
              1949     Mel Parnell            4695       295
              1948     Johnny Sain            4757       315
              1947     Bob Feller             4712       299
              1946     Bob Feller             5954       371
              Regardless, I don't think any player was routed more by WWII than Bob Feller.
              Last edited by csh19792001; 03-17-2006, 05:52 PM.

              Comment

              Ad Widget

              Collapse
              Working...
              X