Robert Andrew Veale (born October 28, 1935 in Birmingham, Alabama) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1962–1972) and the Boston Red Sox (1972–1974). He attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.
Veale was a top strikeout pitcher for the Pirates for about seven years. He led the league in the category once, with 250 in 1964; he had been tied with Bob Gibson with 245 entering the final day of the season. His career high came in 1965, his 276 (to date, a modern-day franchise single-season record) finishing a distant second to Sandy Koufax's then-Major League record 382. He also was in the top three in the National League two other times. He was considered one of the hardest throwers in the game at the time. His lifetime ratio of 7.96 strikeouts per nine innings is still a Pirates career record and ranks 24th on the MLB All-Time List.
With the strikeouts came walks as well, as he led the NL in walks four times, tying a modern record.
Veale won one World Series with the Pirates in 1971, when they defeated Baltimore in seven games. That year, in 37 relief appearances, Veale was 6-0 with a 6.99 ERA, 40 strikeouts and two saves. To go along with that trend, one of Veale's best years, 1968, he had a 2.05 ERA and a losing record, 13-14. That was the lowest ERA since 1914 by a pitcher with more than 20 starts and a losing record.
In a 13-year career, he was 120-95 with a 3.07 ERA in 397 games, 255 starts, with 78 complete games and 20 shutouts. As a reliever, he accumulated 21 saves. He allowed 658 earned runs and struck out 1703 in 1926 innings pitched.
In 2006, Veale was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
By Dean Hanley
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