Law at PNC Park in 2010
Born: March 12, 1930|
|June 11, 1950, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 20, 1967, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Earned run average||3.77|
|Career highlights and awards|
Vernon Sanders "Vern" Law (born March 12, 1930) is an American former baseball pitcher who played sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played in 1950–51 and 1954–67. He batted and threw right-handed and was listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 195 pounds (88 kg).
Law made his major league debut for the Pirates in 1950. He played one season and then served in the military from 1951 to 1954. Upon returning the major leagues, eventually earned a spot in the Pirates' starting rotation, steadily demonstrating solid pitching abilities. He shared the NL Player of the Month award in August 1959 (4-0, 1.94 ERA, 25 SO) with Willie McCovey.
In 1960, he had a win–loss record of 20-9 with a 3.08 earned run average. He led the National League in complete games, made the all-star team, and won the Cy Young Award that season. In the 1960 World Series, he won two games to help the Pirates defeat the New York Yankees.
His career was derailed by an injury to his ankle sustained on the bus trip on which the team was celebrating clinching the 1960 pennant. Law was forced to change his pitching style and pitched in pain for the rest of the season and the World Series. Because of his weak ankle, he tore some muscles in the back of his pitching shoulder during the Series. He thought the injury would heal over the winter, but he was not the same for several seasons.
He did manage to win the NL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1965, with a 17-9 record, and a 2.15 ERA in 29 games. He shared the NL Player of the Month award in June of that year (with Willie Stargell), with a 6-1 record, 0.87 ERA, and 32 SO. After two more seasons, he retired in 1967.
Law was made a deacon in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 12, became a teacher two years later and was ordained a priest at 17. During his playing career, Law was tagged with the nickname "Deacon" by Pirate broadcaster Bob Prince. According to Law, it was given to him by former Pirate teammate Wally Westlake because he is a member of the ordained priesthood of the LDS Church.
Law has been credited with saying, "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins" and "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards."
- "Vern Law Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- "Vern Law Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
- Moody, John, Kiss It Good-bye. Shadow Mountain: 2010, p. 313
- Biederman, Lester J. (April 6, 1958). "Vern Law Pitches Both For Pirates And Mormon Church". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 4. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- Nathan, David H. (2000). The McFarland Baseball Quotations Dictionary. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-0888-7.
|Awards and achievements|
| Major League Player of the Month
August 1959 (with Willie McCovey)
June 1965 (with Willie Stargell)
| Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach