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Dazzy Vance

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Dazzy Vance

A photo of Dazzy Vance.

Charles Arthur "Dazzy" Vance (March 4, 1891 - February 16, 1961) was a star Major League Baseball starting pitcher during the 1920s and early 1930's.

Born in Orient, Iowa, Vance played a decade in the minors before establishing himself as a big league player in 1922 with the Brooklyn Dodgers at the age of 31, when he went 18-12 with a 3.70 ERA and a league-leading 134 strikeouts. During his playing career, he gave his birthyear as 1893, burt revealed his true age when elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. His best individual season came in 1924, when he led the National League in wins (28), strikeouts (262) and ERA (2.16) (see Triple crown) en route to winning the National League MVP award, defeating Rogers Hornsby, who batted .424 - but had subpar power numbers.

Vance's play began to decline in the 1930s, and after bouncing to the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and back to the Dodgers, he retired after the 1935 season. Vance led the league in ERA three times (inmcluding 1930, the year of the pitcher), wins twice, and established a National League record by leading the league in strikeouts in seven consecutive years (1922 - 1928). He retired with a 197-140 record, 2045 strikeouts and a 3.24 ERA -remarkable numbers considering he only saw 33 innings of big league play during his twenties. His 1924 season is arguably the best overall season enjoyed by any major league pitcher during the 1920s. Surveys have rated him the greatest pitcher ever to serve for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

On September 24, 1924, Vance struck out three batters on nine pitches in the second inning of a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. Vance became the fifth National League pitcher and the seventh pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. He finished the season with more strikeouts than any two National League pitchers combined (Burleigh Grimes with 135 and Dolf Luque with 86 were second and third respectively).

Vance pitched a no-hitter in 1925. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, along with Joe DiMaggio, Teddy Lyons, and Gabby Hartnett. This is the last time that 4 men were chosen by the BBWAA in one election. (Three men were chosen in 1972, 1984, 1990, and 1999.) In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. Vance is mentioned in the poem "Lineup for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:

Lineup for Yesterday
V is for Vance,
The Dodgers' own Dazzy;
None of his rivals
Could throw as fast as he.
Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)[1]

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Awards and achievements
Preceded by:
Dutch Ruether
Brooklyn Robins Opening Day
Starting pitcher

1925
Succeeded by:
Jesse Petty
Preceded by:
Burleigh Grimes
National League Strikeout Champion
1922-1928
Succeeded by:
Pat Malone
Preceded by:
Pete Alexander
National League Pitching Triple Crown
1924
Succeeded by:
Bucky Walters
Preceded by:
Dolf Luque
Ray Kremer
Bill Walker
National League ERA Champion
1924
1928
1930
Succeeded by:
Dolf Luque
Bill Walker
Bill Walker
Preceded by:
Dolf Luque
National League Wins Champion
1924-1925
Succeeded by:
Donohue, Kremer, Meadows & Rhem
Preceded by:
Jesse Haines
No-hitter pitcher
September 13, 1925
Succeeded by:
Ted Lyons

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