Last week, I shared this space with former National League star pitcher Carl Erskine.
Today, it’s former lefthanded hurler Bobby Shantz, the American League MVP in 1952 when he won 24 games for the Philadelphia A’s.
Shantz was a three-time All-Star and won eight Gold Glove Awards in his 16-year career.
I recently asked Shantz, 91, about his strategy in pitching to some of the greastest hitters in the AL in the 1950s.
Mickey Mantle: “Mickey was a fine hitter and tough to pitch to. Since I didn’t have a very fast fastball, I tried to change speeds on him. I had a pretty good curve and good control so I curved him a lot and changed speeds a lot.”
Joe DiMaggio: “I only pitched a couple of years to Joe before he had to retire because of a foot problem. I think I got him out changing speeds and got him out with a good curve.”
Ted Williams: “Ted was a great hitter but I had pretty good success with him because I made him hit curveballs. I wasted the fastball and always made him hit a curve because I had a good curve and good control. He did hit a couple of homers off me, though.”
Larry Doby: “Larry was a good hitter but I had good success against him changing speeds on my curve and fastball. I had the same success with (Cleveland’s) Luke Easter pitching him the same way.”
Trivia Time – Carl Erskine pitched his no-hitters against the Chicago Cubs (1952) and New York Giants (1956).
This week’s question – Bobby Shantz pitched in two World Series for which team?
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout