Warren Spahn was a natural with a baseball from an early age. His family was not well off but not really poor. When Spahn started getting noticed to play baseball there were a few conversations in the family about what he should do. Warren knew what he would do.
He began his early days in Buffalo and progressed through the system. He had high leg kick that was known to bother hitters. It was a trademark of his and made him successful. Early in his career, when he was 20 years old in the major leagues, he was on a team being managed by Casey Stengel. He got demoted.
He would be gone from the major leagues for four years. It was during this time in the United State history that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and war was declared. Spahn enlisted in the Army and served with distinction. He received a battlefield commission and a Purple HEars while participating in events like the Battle of the Bulge and the Ludendorff Bridge.
He returned to baseball four years later and quickly dominated opponents for the next twenty years. He pitched two no-hitters with one happening at age 39 and the other at age 40. He primarily played for the Braves (in Boston and Milwaukee) and ended with a season on the Mets and Giants roster.
He finished his career with 363 victories in 21 years. Seventeen times he was named to the All-Star team and was the winner of the Cy Young award once in his career. In 1973, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Spahn had a marvelous life both on and off the baseball field.
This book deserves to be read. Spahn was a great baseball player but also his war efforts were outstanding. The book belongs on your shelf. Warren Spahn was and still is considered the greatest left-handed pitcher to ever play the game.
About the Author
Lew Freedman is the author of nearly sixty books on sports, including Clouds over the Goalpost, The Original Six, and A Summer to Remember, and is the winner of more than 250 journalism awards. A veteran sportswriter, Freedman was formerly a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as other papers, and lives in Columbus, Indiana.
Thanks to Skyhorse Publishing for sending the book in exchange for a fair and honest book review.