Tuesday, November 27, 2012

American League Pitching Leaders (#222, 224, 226)

Here are the AL pitching leaders for 1965. As is so often the case, only a few teams are represented here, as several players from the same team are among the 9 (or in this case, 10) leaders.

The Indians' Sam McDowell finished first in ERA and strikeouts. Twenty-two points later, second-place Eddie Fisher shows up, followed by McDowell's teammate Sonny Siebert (who also finished 3rd in strikeouts). I sometimes wondered why teams with such good starting pitching (like the '67 White Sox and Phillies) didn't finish at the top.

(The 'More than 75 Innings' list was put in as a nod to relief pitchers.)

Two Minnesota Twins are featured on the pitching leaders card. Jim Grant and Jim Kaat sandwich Mel Stottlemyre of the (by now) hapless Yankees. (And Sam McDowell only missed 3rd place by 1 win!)

Not only did McDowell finish first in strikeouts, but he had NINETY-NINE more than the next guy! McDowell led the AL in K's almost every season from 1965-1970. Two Tigers (destined for prominence in 1968) and McDowell's sidekick Sonny Siebert round out the card.

The photos imply that McLain and Siebert tied for 3rd place, but the listing on back shows Siebert with one less strikeout. (If Topps did that, they should have slapped McDowell on the pitching leaders card.)

Indians - 4 (McDowell and Siebert, twice each)
Twins - 2 (Grant, Kaat)
Tigers - 2 (Lolich, McLain)
White Sox - 1 (Fisher)
Yankees - 1 (Stottlemyre)