Early Wynn Jr. (January 6, 1920 – April 4, 1999), nicknamed "Gus", was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right-handed pitcher. He pitched for the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox during his 23-year major league career. He was identified as one of the most intimidating pitchers in the game with his powerful fastball combined with a hard attitude towards batters. Wynn was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
Wynn was born in Alabama and signed with the Senators at the age of 17, deciding to pursue baseball instead of finishing high school. He spent a couple of seasons in the minor leagues, had a brief major league stint in 1939, returned to the major leagues in 1941 and pitched his first full MLB season in 1942. He missed the 1945 MLB season and a portion of the next season while serving in the United States Army during the latter part of World War II.
Wynn was a member of one of baseball's best pitching rotations along with Bob Feller, Mike Garcia, and Bob Lemon, while with the Indians in the mid-1950s. He won the 1959 Cy Young Award, beginning to rely on the knuckleball as the velocity of his pitches declined. Wynn retired in 1963. He finished with exactly 300 career wins; he had spent several months in pursuit of his 300th win.
Wynn served as a coach and broadcaster in the major leagues after his retirement as a player. In 1999, he was included on the The Sporting News list of the 100 greatest players in baseball history. He died that year in an assisted living facility following heart related problems and a stroke.
By Dean Hanley
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