Ned Franklin Garver (born December 25, 1925) is an former American League pitcher who played from 1948 to 1961, winning 129 games in his major league career. Most of his career was spent playing for perennial second-division teams like 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.
Garver remains the only pitcher in modern baseball history (post-1920) to win 20 or more games for a team which lost 100 or more games in the same season, and the only pitcher to do so with a winning record.
Garver was the starting pitcher for the American League in the 1951 All-Star Game, which was held in Detroit.
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."
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.
- ^ Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero, p.105, Tom Clavin and Danny Peary, Touchstone Books, Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4165-8928-0
By Dean Hanley
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