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Warren Spahn Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: April 23, 1921 in Buffalo, New York
Died: November 24, 2003 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Biography | show moreshow less

Full name Warren Edward Spahn
Born April 23, 1921, Buffalo, New York
Died November 24, 2003, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Buried at Elmwood Cemetery, Hartshorne, Oklahoma
First Game: April 19, 1942; Final Game: October 1, 1965
Bat: Left Throw: Left Height: 6' 0" Weight: 172

Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1973
Named Major League Cy Young Award Winner by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1957)
Named NL Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News (1953, 1957 to 1958 and 1961)
Named pitcher on The Sporting News Major League All-Star Team (1953, 1957 to 1958 and 1960)
Named pitcher on The Sporting News NL All-Star Team (1961)

This article was written by Jim Kaplan and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

The fifth-winningest pitcher of all time, Warren Spahn went 363-245 over parts of 21 years from 1942 to 1965. Only by remaining in the game two seasons too long did he fail to finish with an ERA under 3.00 (3.09) and a winning percentage over .600 (.597), and his totals are all the more impressive considering that he didn’t record his first big-league victory until he was 25. Spahn should make everyone’s list of the 10 best pitchers in baseball history, and was the one “sure thing” Braves fans had to cheer for through the team's final five years in Boston -- and far beyond.

Named after both President Warren G. Harding and his own father, Warren Edward Spahn was born in Buffalo, New York, on April 23, 1921, the fifth of six children and the first of two sons to Ed and Mabel Spahn. Supporting his family in the city’s blue-collar East End, Ed was a $27-a-week wallpaper salesman who didn’t own a car. His family ate meat maybe once a week, and his children stuffed their shoes with newspapers. A good bowler and semipro baseball player but too small at 5 feet 7 and 130 pounds to dream of a big-league career, Ed sublimated his disappointment by teaching the game to left-handed Warren, the most promising athlete in the family. Ed knew there were only so many positions open for a lefty; so just in case Warren couldn’t hit well enough to play first base (his favorite position), Ed taught him exhaustively how to throw fastballs and curves from a mound he built in the backyard. “You’ve got to have control,” Ed said over and over. “Without control you’re nothing!” Warren nodded and kept dreaming of playing first in the big leagues.

“He insisted that I throw with a fluid motion, and the high leg kick was part of the deception to the hitter,” Warren told Oklahoma City’s Daily Oklahoman in 1998. “Hitters said the ball seemed to come out of my uniform.”

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