Monday, March 17, 2014

PURSUE THE PENNANTS: #195 BOB VEALE


CHIC SLEEVELESS/WINDBREAKER PAIRING. 



TOSSED THAT NO-NO FOR WILSON OF THE CAROLINA LEAGUE.



With the difficult-to-find 1965 Heritage currently in the cross-hairs of most cardboard aficionados, seems like a week's worth of Pursue the Pennants is in order, with a back-to-the-future slant of course.

WHO'S THE HERO?

  • Bob Veale looked like a flame-thrower, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 212 pounds. And he was, striking out eight batters per nine innings during his 13-year career. He led the NL in K's in 1964 with 250 and established a career-high the following season with 276. As with a lot of strikeout artists, he walked a bunch, too, leading the league four times and averaging four per nine.

WHY IT'S SLICK

  • Look at the card. I mean, come on!

GROOVY BITS

  • His 276 strikeouts in '65 set a Pirates record that still stands. Veale was second in the NL to #300 Sandy Koufax, who mowed down a major-league record 382. 
  • In '68, Veale went 13-14 despite a 2.05 ERA, the lowest for a losing pitcher with more than 20 starts since 1914.
  • From '71 until he retired in '74, he came out of the pen, saving 17 games. As a starter, he was 110-91 with a 2.95 ERA and a 117 ERA+. He was an NL All-Star team selection in '65 and '66.

AHEAD TO '14

  • Gerrit Cole might have the best chance to become the modern-day equivalent to Veale. In his 1 1/2 years in the minors, he struck out 8.2 per nine and walked 2.5. Last season, his first in Pittsburgh, the 6-4, 235-pound rookie made 19 starts and averaged 7.7 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine.


AS CROPS GO, THIS ONE'S A WHIFF.



HAS THE MAKINGS OF A GREAT ONE.

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