Garver in 1956.
|Born: December 25, 1925
|Died: February 26, 2017 (aged 91)
|April 28, 1948, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 4, 1961, for the Los Angeles Angels|
|Earned run average||3.73|
|Career highlights and awards|
Ned Franklin Garver (December 25, 1925 – February 26, 2017) was an American professional baseball pitcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1948 to 1961. Most of his career was spent playing for perennial second-division teams such as the St. Louis Browns and Kansas City Athletics.
In 1951, Garver had a memorable season pitching for the St. Louis Browns. He compiled a 20-12 record which was noteworthy considering the Browns lost 102 games that year. Garver also posted a 3.73 ERA that season. Out of the Browns' 52 total wins, Garver accounted for nearly 40 percent of them. Garver also led the American League in complete games with 24 and, when he pitched, he often batted sixth in the order rather than the customary ninth, compiling a .305 batting average with one home run. He was also used as a pinch hitter and pinch runner. After the season, Garver found himself in a three-way tie for first place Most Valuable Player Award votes with Yankees Yogi Berra and Allie Reynolds, though the tally of votes further down the ballots meant that Berra won the award.
Garver is one of only two modern (post-1900) pitchers to win 20 or more games for a team which lost 100 or more games in the same season, and is the last to do so and the only one to do it with a winning record.[note 1] Garver was the winning pitcher in 38% of the Browns' victories; their record when he did not get the decision was 32–90, .262.
Garver was the starting pitcher for the American League in the 1951 All-Star Game, his only All-Star appearance. He led the American League in complete games that year (he had also done so in 1950).
Following the 1951 season, Browns owner Bill Veeck made Garver the highest paid member of the team with a salary of $25,000.
Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, said of Garver, "He could throw anything up there and get me out." (actually, though, Williams' batting average off Garver was .419, with a .767 slugging percentage.)
In 1996, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative postmark in his honor in his hometown of Ney, Ohio, to mark the 45th anniversary of his 20-win season. On September 30, 1951, he was sent a plaque by the Commissioner of Baseball to commemorate the 20th victory, September 30, 1951.
- Richard Goldstein (February 28, 2017). "Ned Garver, 20-Game Winner for the 102-Loss Browns, Dies at 91". New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
- Clavin, Tom; Peary, Danny (2010). Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-4165-8928-0.
- Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and Ned Garver (September 10, 2015). "BP Daily Podcast − Effectively Wild Episode 722: Cold-Calling Ned Garver". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved March 4, 2017. (audio)
- Ron Clements (February 28, 2017). "Ned Garver dead at 91; longtime MLB pitcher won 20 games for 52-win team". The Sporting News. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
- "Baseball-Reference:Ted Williams vs. Ned Garver" http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/batter_vs_pitcher.cgi?batter=willite01&pitcher=garvene01
- "Ned F. Garver (obituary)". Bryan [Ohio] Times. February 28, 2017. Retrieved March 4, 2017.