Only eight pitchers in major league history have ever won 20 games for a last place team - Ned Garver, Noodles Hahn, Scott Perry, Howard Ehmke, Sloppy Thurston, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan and Phil Niekro - and Ned Garver is the only player in baseball history to win 20 and hit higher than .300 for a club that lost 100 or more games in one season. Garver broke into the majors in 1948 with the old St. Louis Browns (AL team - moved to Baltimore) and pitched three years before his record tying season in 1951.
In 1951 the 5'10 1/2", 180-pounder jumped off to a fast start and won 11 games by All-Star break, although the St. Louis Browns were already 23 games back. Garver ended the year at 20-12, a 3.73 ERA, and completed 24 of 30 starts, fanned 84 batters, walked 96 in 246 innings.
He led the AL in complete games and finished second in the Most Valuable Player voting to Yogi Berra - 184 points to 157 points. Garver, one of baseball's best hitting pitchers hit .288 in 1948 and .305 in 1951, and often batted sixth in the Browns' lineup. Ned Garver career: 129-157, 3.73 ERA, 402 G, 330 GS, 153 GC, hurled 18 shutouts, 2,477 1/3 innings, and a .218 lifetime batting average In checking our Archives - we note a nice glossy autographed picture postcard of Ned Garver sent to our manager back in 1952 when the postage was just 2 cents... Many Thanks - Copyright 2003 baseballhistorian.com