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Johnny Sain Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: September 25, 1917 in Havana, Arkansas
Died: November 07, 2006 in Downers Grove, Illinois
Biography | show moreshow less

Baseball Career:
First Game: April 24, 1942; Final Game: July 15, 1955
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 6' 2" Weight: 185

Awards and Achievements:
Named NL Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News (1948)
Named pitcher on The Sporting News Major League All-Star Team (1948)

Johnny Sain
This article was written by Jan Finkel and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

Nobody would mistake Post sportswriter Hern’s famous lines for “Casey at the Bat” or even poetry except in the broadest sense, but it sums up most of what many people today know about Johnny Sain. That’s unfortunate, because Sain was so much more than someone whose name, fortuitously for Hern, rhymes with “rain” -- trainer of fighter pilots, ace pitcher, one of the great pitching coaches, and holder of a little-known but remarkable record attesting to his genius as a contact hitter.

He was born John Franklin Sain in the tiny town of Havana, Arkansas (population 392 in the 2000 Census), on September 25, 1917, to Eva and John Sain. An automobile mechanic and a good left-handed pitcher at the amateur level, the elder Sain would profoundly affect his son’s career, encouraging him early on and teaching him to throw a curve while varying his motions and speed.

No one showed much interest in young Johnny as a pitching prospect, and his journey to the majors became a six-year odyssey. According to author Al Hirshberg, Bill Dickey declined the elder Sain’s request to talk to his son after watching him pitch in a high-school game because he didn’t want to tell the boy he didn’t have it. To make matters worse, Bill Terry tried soon after to talk him out of pursuing a baseball career.

Film Credits | show moreshow less

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