At his home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.April 23, 1921 — November 24, 2003
I suppose you have to be of the right age to remember Warren Spahn, the most successful southpaw picher in the National League, with 363 career wins.
He was a 20 game winner, 13 times in his career, which spanned from 1942 - 1965, with a hiatus from 1942 to 1946 to serve in WWII.
Spahn fought in the Battle of the Bulge and participated in the taking of the key Rhine crossing bridge at Remagen, Germany. Several of his company were lost when the bridge finally collapsed. He received a Bronze Star, as well as a Purple Heart for being hit with shrapnel.
Spahn was back with the Braves in 1946 and had the first of thirteen 20-win seasons the following season.
Looking back on his military experience some years later, Spahn said, "After what I went through overseason, I never thought of anything I was told to do in baseball as hard work. You get over feeling like that when you spend days on end sleeping in frozen tank tracks in enemy threatened territory. The Army taught me something about challenges and about what's important and what isn't. Everything I tackle in baseball and in life I take as a challenge rather than work."
He won the Cy Young Award in 1957.
'I don't think Spahn will ever get into the Hall of Fame. He'll never stop pitching!'
— Stan Musial
If you were a fan of the television series COMBAT!
, back in those days, you probably knew that Warren Spahn played a German soldier in an Episode titled 'Glow Against The Sky', which debuted on November 5, 1963.
Caption: Warren Spahn being outfitted as a German soldier by costumer Beau Vandenecker. His cameo role in COMBAT! was highly publicized at the time.
Do y'all remember this fine gentleman?