Great Stuff: Baseball’s Most Amazing Pitching Feats by Rich Westcott (2014)
Great Stuff: Baseball’s Most Amazing Pitching Feats
by Rich Westcott
Sports Publishing, 2014
Even in the era of inflated offense, great pitching shines through. Author Rich Westcott looks back at the history of pitching since the distance of the mound was moved to sixty feet, six inches, and examines some of the greatest performances on record. Certainly most will recognize the Hall of Famers included in this volume, such as Steve Carlton, who won 27 games when his team only won 59; Bob Feller, whose big league debut is unmatched to date; and Nolan Ryan, the master of the no-hitter. Also included are lesser-known hurlers such as Mike Marshall, who appeared in 106 games in one season; Don Newcombe, who won both the Cy Young and MVP Award in 1956; and Ed Reulbach, who pitched two shutouts in a single day. The book isn’t entirely about old-timers. Modern pitchers such as Francisco Rodriguez, Roy Halladay, Randy Johnson, and Justin Verlander are also featured.
Westcott delves deep into these men, their feats, and what they meant to the game. The emphasis is not on a player’s career, but rather single season or single game feats, though career highlights are a part of the discussion where appropriate. Johnny Vander Meer‘s back-to-back no-hitters are obviously a part of the book, but Westcott also makes mention of his 1952 minor league no-no, pitched in front of only 335 spectators.
Great Stuff is a great overview of pitching accomplishments that may never be duplicated again. Baseball history buffs will absolutely love it. The only knock against it is calling Mark Buehrle “Mike” in the chapter that extols his 45 consecutive hitters retired.