Wilmer Dean Chance (born June 1, 1941 in Wooster, Ohio) is a former American Major League Baseball pitcher. Over the right hander's 11-year major league career, he would play for the Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, and Detroit Tigers. With a touch of wildness and the habit of never looking at home plate once he received the sign from his catcher, Chance would turn his back fully towards the hitter in mid-windup before spinning and unleashing a good fastball, sinker, or sidearm curveball.
In 1964, Chance became at the time the youngest pitcher to win the Cy Young Award when, as a member of the Los Angeles Angels, he led the American League in wins (20), innings pitched (278 ⅓) and earned run average (1.65—as of 2013, a franchise record) and was third in the A.L. in strikeouts. He pitched 11 shutouts (also a franchise record as of 2013) that season, winning five of those by a 1–0 score. At the time, only one Cy Young Award was given in all of MLB; since 1967, separate awards have been given in the AL and the National League. Chance's Cy Young Award was the third in a string of five consecutive Cy Young Awards won by a pitcher from a Los Angeles-based team. The others were won by Dodger pitchers: Don Drysdale in 1962 and Sandy Koufax in 1963, 1965 and 1966.
By Dean Hanley
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