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Warren Spahn
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Warren Spahn
Warren Spahn
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, 1973
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 113 of 984 players
Spahn
Warren Edward Spahn
Born: April 23, 1921 at Buffalo, N.Y.
Died: November 24, 2003 at Broken Arrow, Okla.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 6.00 Weight: 175

Warren Spahn was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on November 24, 2003, November 25, 2003, November 21, 2005, January 4, 2008, November 27, 2008, November 23, 2009, and December 16, 2013.

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Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Coach 1965

First Mets game: April 14, 1965
Last Mets game: July 10, 1965





Winner of National League Cy Young award, 1957. (Milwaukee Braves)

Share your memories of Warren Spahn

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

ray oaks
Spahn, among the best of the trade. I talked with him one time in St. Louis after he was traded to the Mets. I said some nice things about the good record he had in Milwaukee. I did say it was sad to see him leave the Braves. In return he gave me a baseball. This all took place in the bullpen.

Richard Kissel
March 30, 2001
Spahn was at the end of a long great ride when he came to the Mets at the tail-end of his career in 1965.

The same year, Yogi Berra, who had just been fired after being the Yankees' losing manager in the 1964 World Series, was a Mets' player-coach. Spahn told the press that the Mets had the world's ugliest battery.

Spahn didn't finish up the first year with the Mets. He was fairly old by then. Spahn was a World War II hero and should be honored for his service to his country.

Mr. Sparkle
August 7, 2001
Only pitcher in major league history to win over 300 games and never stike out 200 batters in a single season.

Andy from Rego Park
April 3, 2002
Possibly the greatest left-handed pitcher ever, of course not while the Mets had him. The better half of "Spahn & Sain, and pray for rain" with the '48 Boston Braves, Spahnie won 359 games with teams other than the Mets. Plus he had 13 twenty-win seasons. Imagine what kind of salary he could command if he were pitching today.

Larry Burns
June 5, 2002
I know he was washed up when he on the Mets, but he was arguably the greatest left handed pitcher of all time. His philosophy and approach to pitching would actually be revolutionary in today's game. Instead of just measuring the speed in which a pitcher throws (PLEASE get rid of the JUGS gun), Spahn said, "Hitting is all timing and it is the pitcher's job to disrupt his timing.) Great location, off-speed pitchers like Whitey Ford, Catfish Hunter, and Spahn might never make it today. There is something wrong with that.

Fred of Nyack
March 18, 2003
Warren Spahn with his 363 wins is likely the greatest lefthander ever. I suppose an argument can be made for Lefty Grove or perhaps Sandy Koufax.

By the time he reached the Mets he was pretty much done. His dual capacity as starting pitcher and pitching coach didn't seem to work largely because as a strong competitor he often left himself in the games too long. Spahn was a pretty good hitter during his career as well. Like Duke Snider the year before him, Spahn went to the San Francisco Giants early in the season. Still it was a thrill to see him in a Mets uniform albeit for a short time and there is a great photo in the 1965 Yearbook of him pitching to Yogi.

As some postings mention he was a war hero. I believe was at Normandy, though he appeared in the televison show "Combat" as a German soldier once.

A Andrus
September 11, 2003
For some reason I've never understood, Warren Spahn was my one and only baseball hero while growing up near Los Angeles. I have a memory of seeing him pitch against Don Sutton at Dodger Stadium about 1962. Hank Aaron hit a line drive home run into the left field bleachers to win the game in the ninth inning. Years later, carrying my little baby daughter on my back, I met Mr. Spahn at a card show. his autograph cost $8 while Joe DiMaggio's at the next table cost $50. I had Mr. Spahn sign a couple old cards I had collected including a 1951 Boston Braves card. I told him he had always been my hero and it was an honor to meet him. he seemed very sincere and straightforward guy. It is hard to see him so old now. Warren Spahn is the greatest lefty of all time.

Edgy DC
November 27, 2003
RIP Warren Spahn.

Yogi is the last of a tiny breed -- Hodges, Spahn, Berra, Duke Snider -- Met WWII veterans. You can throw in Ralph Kiner, Lindsey Nelson (who fought many of the same battles as Spahn), and Bob Murphy, which gives you two more living war veterans of Met pedigree.

Others who served in wartime:

Casey Stengel (WWI) Willie Mays (Korean War)

Thanks, Warren. God bless.

Sal
January 13, 2004
A Andrus--Neat trick, seeing Sutton pitch in 1962. His rookie year was 1966.

A lot was made of the fact that in ST 1965, the Mets had a battery of Spahn and Berra, which lasted only as long as Yogi did. But they took a lot of pictures together, probably many more pictures than MLB pitches of Spahn's that Berra caught.

tom ross
January 21, 2004
I remember a game that I watched Warren Spahn pitch as a N.Y. Met against Jim Bunning. It was probably around 1965 or 1966 and I was on the first base side of the field with my cousin and uncle who invited me to go to the game. What I remember is that both pitchers pitched a complete game and the Phillies won 1 - 0 on a home-run by Bunning in the top of the ninth inning. Two great pitchers and the other memory of this game was the eighty-year old woman behind us that was screaming "C'mon Spahnnie" throughout the game!

Bob P
January 23, 2004
Tom, great memory! That game was played on Wednesday, May 5, 1965. There is also a memory of the game on the 5/5/65 page.

Bunning's HR off Spahn gave Jim six complete game wins in six starts vs. the Mets to that point. Three of those wins were shutouts, including the perfect game on Father's Day, 1964.

Feat Fan
January 25, 2004
I remember the July 26, 1964 twin bill for many reasons. It was my very first games at Shea and right across the street was the excitement of the '64 World's Fair.

Spahnie started game one vs Alvin Jackson, both were shelled early in a donnybrook and were brought in to pitch in a wilder nightcap. I think the scores were 11-10, and 15-11. "Little Al, born on Christmas Day" hit his only major league homer off Spahnie in game one, it was a blistering line drive to the opposite field. There was a brawl between Rico Carty and Frank Lary, a great shoestring catch and homers from Henry A, a dejected Carlton Willey leaving the game with an elbow injury after Torre went deep and a dramatic pinch hit 3 run home run by notable Larry Eliott in game two. Seems like yesterday!

In 1965, the Mets signed Spahn and activated Berra. I remember watching a game in early May on WOR-TV pitting Spahn and Jim Bunning. If I remember this one correctly, both dueled to a 1-0 Philly win and Berra started the game as Spahnie's batterymate.

Later on he went to my team of choice, the SF Giants for the stretch run and went something like 3-4 3.38 and finished the year 7-16. If I am correct, he hung on for a few years after that, possibly hurling for his hometown Buffalo Bisons in the International League.

Bob P
January 27, 2004
Feat Fan, that doubleheader was a classic! The Spahn- Jackson matchup in game one finished 11-7 in favor of the Braves, and game two wound up 15-10 with Wade Blasingame and Frank Lary as the starters.

According to a website that I Googled, Spahn never played pro ball in Buffalo. But he did play in Buffalo for South Park High School, the Twilight League, and the American Legion before turning pro.

Jay Littman
July 29, 2004
When Spahn broke in with the sorry Boston Braves in 1942, his manager was Casey Stengel. After the '42 season, Spahn went into the military and when he returned following WWII for the '46 season, Stengel was gone. Casey went on to enjoy phenomenal success as manager of the Yankees from 1949 through 1960 and Spahn, of course, had his own phenomenal career with the Braves. In 1965 the Braves traded Spahnie to the Mets, managed by none other than Casey Stengel. Warren quipped, "I'm the only guy who can say he played for Casey before and after he was a genius."

Jonathan Stern
July 11, 2005
Warren Spahn's brief stint with the Mets was hampered by his declining pitching ability and, allegedly, his disinclination to give everything he had to his role as pitching coach. But I do not want to criticize a WWII veteran too much. Thank you, Mr. Spahn, for serving America and its greatest game with such distinction.

Bob P
July 11, 2005
The final appearance of Warren Spahn's great career came in a wild game at Candlestick on the final weekend of the 1965 season. The Giants trailed the Dodgers by two games and hosted the Reds for the weekend while the Dodgers were hosting Spahn's old team, the Braves.

Milwaukee shut out LA on Friday night, 2-0. But the Giants got plastered by the Reds, 17-2, and so the Dodgers clinched a tie for the NL pennant.

Spahn came into the game in relief of Gaylord Perry in the seventh inning and faced three batters. The final batter he faced in his career was Cincinnati pitcher Sammy Ellis, and Ellis, a career .104 hitter, singled to drive in the 11th run of the game for the Reds.

Spahn came out of a game for the final time and was relieved by rookie RHP--and future Cub--Bill Hands. What an end to an amazing career.

Bob P
May 13, 2006
Ralph Kiner passed along a good story during a Mets- Braves telecast a few nights ago.

Apparently Spahn and Casey Stengel did not get along very well. Spahn had broken in with the Boston Braves in 1942 and the manager there was...Casey Stengel. This was prior to Stengel's amazing run with the Yankees. When Spahnie got to NY to play for the Mets near the end of the line, his manager was...Casey Stengel. This, of course, was after Stengel's Yankee success.

Kiner quoted Spahn as saying something along the lines of "I played for Stengel before he was a genius, and I played for him after he stopped being a genius!"

Great stuff...

Jamey Bumbalo
November 8, 2006
Of course this Hall of Famer (and the greatest lefty ever--see Sports Illustrated's recent greatest team of all time) was way past his prime when he pitched for the Mets. But you have to love seeing him and Yogi Berra on Mets cards in 1965. And he was a World War II hero. The only blemish I know is that after he pitched for the Giants in 1965 and was released, he refused to call it quits, and hung on in the minors for a couple years. He was also one of the best hitting pitchers of all time.

Don Engbers
July 19, 2008
I played for Warren in Tulsa in 1970 and what I most remember was the time there was 100% chance of rain and around 6:00 he told us all to get our running in because we would not be playing that night. Reggie Cleveland was scheduled to start that evening and he was told to also run with the rest of the team. It did not rain a drop that night and when Reggie was knocked out in the 3rd inning he and Spahnie went at it, verbally, pretty good on the mound and in the dugout about the decision to have him run before the game.

Mets fan in Maine
December 23, 2008
Sure, he was washed up when he joined the Mets at age 44, but he was just two seasons removed (age 42!) from a 23-7/2.60 year with the Braves. The winningest left-hander of all time, he didn't get his first win in the majors until he was 25, having fought in World War II 1943-45. He slammed 35 homers, and hit .333 in 1958--with 108 at bats. Most impressive, especially now when starting pitchers rarely, unfortunately, finish a game, he had 382 complete games in 665 starts--that's 57%!

In Fay Vincent's book "The Only Game in Town," Spahn says this about his tenure with the Mets: "I dreaded the time I was told I couldn't play anymore. I was sold from the Braves to the Mets, and my ego said I could win with the Mets as well as the Braves. When I got there I found out differently. We found a different way to lose every day when I was with the Mets."

Ringo Boisclair
April 24, 2009
I met him once at Shea long after he had retired. He didn't know me at all, and I was basically just a kid who had walked up to him, but I knew about him and his era and his great career. He was so down to earth it was astonishing. We talked at length and he proved to be intelligent and amusing. He wasn't just superficially friendly: he was willing to engage and chat and share some of what he'd seen if asked.

A war hero and the best pitcher of his era - one of the 10 best in history - but the impression I was left with and will always have is that he was just a nice man who seemed unaffected by having been one of the greatest athletes ever to play baseball. I only regret I couldn't talk to him even longer, but I didn't want to be impolite and take up too much of his time. What a delight it was to have met him.









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