Monday, October 5, 2020

Another Hall of Famer on Mom's Ball - Lefty Gomez

Mom thinks I forgot about this amazing baseball that covers my birthday and Christmas presents from now until something like 2034, but I did need something to kick off the birthday posts.  Yeah, my birthday was almost a month ago, but I do like to stretch things out, and since this year was a nice round number, I figured I wasn't in any kind of a hurry to get things going on that.

Anyway, here is the last Hall of Famer on Mom's ball that I didn't yet have in my collection.  I kept getting Lefty Gomez and Lefty Grove mixed up, but Grove is the tougher of the two, having died in 1975.  On this ball is Lefty Gomez.  This Lefty is a Yankees legend and still a "tough get" as far as single signed baseballs go.  Mom was worried that I would only want single signed baseballs of these guys, but I'm happy taking what I can get.  My entire collection was built on a budget, and if I can knock out 3-4 guys on one ball, let's do it!

Gomez (b. 1908 - d. 1989) played in the majors from 1930 to 1943 for the Yankees and Senators.  He had a career record of 189-102 with 1,468 strike outs and a 3.34 ERA.  He was a 20-game winner 4 times (1931, 1932, 1934 and 1937) and an All Star in seven seasons (1933 to 1939).  He won the pitching Triple Crown in 1934 and 1937.  His best MVP finish was 3rd in 1934.

Gomez won the World Series 5 times with the Yankees, in 1932 and 1936 to 1939.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972 via the Veterans Committee.

Gomez's numbers don't quite stack up to some other starting pitchers in the Hall.  He may be benefitting from being on the Yankees.  There is a pitcher not in the Hall of Fame who appeared in 17 seasons (albeit one game in one of those seasons) who has a similar won/loss record (177-135), more strike outs (1,534) and an almost comparable ERA (3.39).  The other pitcher won 20 games only once, however, and also had only one World Series win.  Anyway, Gomez is in, and you can't take that away from him.

Gomez is my 150th Hall of Famer on a baseball.  There's another nice round number.

When I can get caught up with some other posts, I will come back to this baseball and feature the other guys on the ball.  That will be a lot of fun, and should happen sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Again, thanks for the awesome ball, Mom!