Skip to comments.Discover one of baseball's forgotten streaks (Rick Langford)
Posted on 05/19/2013 5:29:49 PM PDT by Third Person
On May, 23, 1980, Oakland As pitcher Rick Langford threw a complete game against the Texas Rangers.
The As lost that day, 3-1, as Langford gave up three unearned runs in a 1-hour, 56-minute duel with Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins.
Five days later, Langford went the distance again, beating the Royals.
Six days after that, on June 3 he pitched a third straight complete game, this time going 10 innings vs. the Indians.
He then pitched another complete game. And another. And another.
By the end of June, Langfords complete-game streak was eight.
Through July, it was 14 -- including a 14-inning victory.
After five more complete games in August, he was up to 19.
Over the first 12 days of September, Langford went the distance against the Yankees, Orioles and Royals. Langford, who wore No. 22, had thrown 22 consecutive complete games.
Finally, on Sept. 17, in a game at Arlington, Texas, As manager Billy Martin marched to the mound after Langford had pitched 8⅔ innings and signaled for lefty reliever Bob Lacey to come on. Lacey induced a groundout from Buddy Bell to save Langfords 17th victory.
I remember him standing there like it was yesterday, and he came to get me, says Langford, 61, now the rehab pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. He didnt ask me this time, How are you? or You can do it or whatever. His comment was, God bless him, I think its time now. Those were his words. I said, Yes it is.
I handed him the ball and walked off.
Langford's streak was done, but he wasnt.
Langford pitched complete games in his next three starts. Then, with 19 victories and a chance for No. 20...
(Excerpt) Read more at espn.go.com ...
I remember those Rollie Fingers ads.
Early 80s, when Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith started getting those 30 saves a year is when things really started changing.
With the 5 man rotation and setup men and a closer, we’ll never see another 300 game winner.
Ever notice no one ever mentions beating Cy Young’s wins record? That is the one achievement that no one will ever come close to breaking.
Louis Arroyo was saving a bunch of games for the Yankees back in ‘61. I remember hearing a sportscaster back then announcing that Louis had signed for the ‘62 season and that the “sigh” heard from the Yankee clubhouse was really from Whitey Ford.
That’s a great story!
As soon as I saw it was about complete games, I immediately thought of the Phillies Hall of Famer, Robin Roberts. He threw a total of 305 complete games during the ‘50s and ‘60s, including 45 shutouts. Things were different in the olden days.
One of my favorite Robin Roberts stories occurred on May 13, 1954, when Roberts gave up a lead-off home run to Reds player Bobby Adams and then retired 27 consecutive batters to win the game 81.
By the way, Robin Roberts was the first Phillies baseball card I ever got out of a pack of Topps cards. That was in 1960.
Pretty amazing. Here’s a shout out for another workhorse: Wilbur Wood, lefty knuckler.
1971, 334 IP, 1.91 ERA
1972, 376 IP, 2.52 ERA
1973, 359 IP, 3.46 ERA
1974, 320 IP, 3.60 ERA
That would make the game incredibly pure.
What I'm saying is that the starting pitcher would pitch just the one inning and in inning 2, he'd trade places with the catcher while the catcher pitched. Then in inning 3, the starting pitcher will move to 1st base while the 1st baseman pitches. And so on.
Each positional player would have to pitch the one inning every game with the "starting pitcher" rotating through all 8 other positions as the game progresses. No relief pitchers allowed.
That would make the game very entertaining, that is for sure.
I didn't know much about Lyle besides his autobiography and those Levi Garrett chewing tobacco ads.
GREAT book BTW. (The Bronx Zoo?)
Joe Page had a couple of good years for the Bombers in the late 1940’s also. If I remember right he was high up in the MVP voting those years also. He threw pure heat and liked his belts after the game.
Yes, The Bronx Zoo, 1979. I liked it, as well.
I have to be impressed with Langford’s record. It will never, EVER, be beaten, not with baseball today.
But I have to mention. My dad, “Lefty” Joe Hatten, pitched in both games of a double header. Let’s see somebody today do that! He was also the Dodger’s pitcher when Jackie Robinson played his first major league game.
Thanks for the Ping, Roccus! Always nice to remember my dad.
I just KNEW you could add something worthwhile to this thread. ;)
Whenever I see a thread about air racing or mid-century baseball, I think of you.