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Lefty Gomez

Lefty Gomez

Position(s):
P
Nicknames:
Goofy
Born:
November 26, 1908
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
6' 2"
Weight:
173 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-29-1930 with NYA
Allstar Selections:
1934 TC, 1937 TC
Hall of Fame:
1972

Intro

Years before Joe DiMaggio was signed by the Yankees out of San Francisco, the Bay Area produced Vernon Louis Gomez, a talented and colorful left-handed hurler. "Lefty" starred for the Yankees during the 1930s and early 1940s, teaming with Red Ruffing to form one of the best pitching duos in baseball history. Gomez posted a 6-0 record in the Fall Classic, winning five rings with the Yankees. Originally a hard thrower, Gomez suffered arm injuries in 1933, 1936 and 1939, eventually re-tooling himself as a finesse pitcher. He enjoyed a 165-89 record for the Yankees for the decade of the 1930s, finishing in the top ten in MVP voting three times.

Unform Number

#22 (1930), #20 (1931) #11 (1932-1942), unknown (1943)

Replaced By

Right-hander Hank Borowy, a rookie on the 1942 Yankees.

Best Season

Gomez won the pitching triple crown in 1937 and 1934, but we chose '37 because that season the Yanks won the pennant. He won 26 games with a 2.33 ERA, and 194 strikeouts. He also twirled six shutouts.

Factoid 1

Lefty Gomez started the first All-Star Game, in 1933 in Chicago. He entered the record books when he plated the first runs in All-Star Game history, delivering an RBI-single.

Transition

January 25, 1943: Purchased by the Boston Braves from the New York Yankees.

Strengths

His ability to perform in the post-season.

Weaknesses

Gomez was a horrid hitter. In more than 900 career regular season at-bats, he collected just 11 extra-base hits (all doubles).

Description

"Vernon Gomez, the ace pitcher of the New York Yankees, was so anemic that he had to spend the winter on a health farm to build up his stamina in order to stand the strain of a big league season, yet he showed such wizadry in tossing curves the past summer that he was the leading hurler of the New York Americans this year. Out on the ball field he looks as if a puff of wind would blow him away, but he has often stopped fierce batting rallies and has humbled many a heavy slugger before his shoots." — The Sporting News, Nov. 5, 1931

Most Wins, MLB (1930-1939)

Lefty Grove... 199 Carl Hubbell... 188 Red Ruffing... 175 Wes Ferrell... 170 Lefty Gomez... 165

Comp ERA*, MLB (1930-1939) *min. 1,500 IP

Grove... 157.3 Hubbell... 146.7 Gomez... 141.4 Dizzy Dean... 134.6 Ruffing... 127.9 *Comp ERA = percentage below league ERA. For example, Grove's mark of 157.3 means his ERA for the 1930s was 57.3% better than the rest of his league.

Gomez Finally Weds Miss O'Dea

From TSN, March 2, 1933: "Gomez Finally Weds Miss O'DeaVernon Gomez, left-handed pitcher of the New York Yankees, and Miss June O'Dea, a musical comedy actress, were married at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in New York City, N.Y., February 26. The ceremony had been reported about to take place various times since the season closed, but for some reason always was postponed. They finally set February 26 for the date, but nearly had to postpone it then, because the bride forgot to have her birth certificate handy when the license was requested. This detail was straightened out in time, however. There will be no honeymoon for awhile, as the new Mrs. Gomez had to return to her theatrical company in Philadelphia, and Lefty was called to St. Petersburg, Fla., to begin spring training. Mrs. Gomez plans to join him there later, however.

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Tagged:
1932 World Series, 1936 World Series, 1937 World Series, 1938 World Series, 1939 World Series, 1971 Hall of Fame, Baseball History, Hall of Fame, Joe DiMaggio, Lefty Gomez, New York Yankees

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