The career of Bucky is unique. He began as a utility player, capable of playing any position.
When his contract was purchased by the Braves (1929), he didn't know what position he would play.
He settled in at third base, but was shifted to pitcher, due to a good arm, during his fifth season
as a major league baseball player.
Bucky's pitching career displays some incredible
statistics. Bucky was known as a "Work-Horse" who completed 61% of games
started. Amazingly, 21% of his 198 wins were shut-outs. Although he
pitched in only 14 full seasons as a pitcher, he ranks 37th All-time with 42
Three times Bucky won more than 20 games: 27 in 1939; 22 in 1940; 23 in 1944.
Bucky also lead the league in earned runs twice: 2.29 in 1939 and 2.48 in 1940.
From 1939 through 1947his ERA was below 2.83 in seven of eight seasons. And,
according to Total Baseball, Bucky received three (3 )hypothetical Cy Young
Awards given to players for years which no official award existed. Bucky is
recognized as the best pitcher for the 1939, 1940, and 1944 seasons. All retired
pitchers with 3 or more official Cy Young Awards have been inducted to the
National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bucky was also recognized a good hitter and fielder for a pitcher. He
maintained a career batting average of .243 and ranks third for pitchers with
76 double plays. More than once, Bucky won his own game with an RBI or homerun.
Most notable is 1940 World Series game 6, where he pitched a five-hit shut out
and hit a home run.
Unique to Buckys career is that he recorded the first televised win (August
26th, 1939). He stole home (April 20th,1946). He umpired a major league game
(July 10th, 1947) as a player. He led the majors in victories over the 15-year
span from 1935 to 1949.
Never wanting to be out of uniform, Bucky continued his career as a coach,
manager and scout. After his baseball career was over, Bucky commented, "My only
regret was not playing every day."
SO, WHAT DOES IT REALLY TAKE TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME?