- 05/31/2011, 07:54PM ET
Catwoman said 05/31, 07:54 PM
Who is the greatest athlete in Buffalo sports history?
My choice is Warren Spahn, born in Buffalo, NY in 1921.
Warren Spahn???s career spanned 21 years, which is pretty incredible in itself, playing for the Boston Braves (1942, 1946-1952), Milwaukee Braves (1953-1964), New York Mets (1965), and the San Francisco Giants (1965).
He has the most wins of any left-handed pitcher in HISTORY ... an amazing 363. He pitched TWO no-hitters in the twilight of his career ... in 1960 against the Philadelphia Phillies, winning 4-0, and in 1961 against the Giants, winning 1-0, at age 40. He won 20 or more games in a season THIRTEEN times, with a streak of 6 years in a row from 1956 to 1961. He won the Cy Young award in 1957. In 1963, at age 42, he went 23-7 for Milwaukee and finished with a 2.60 ERA.
Warren was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, the first year he was eligible, which showed he was held in high esteem.
MTC. Good luck No Comment.
84 said 06/01, 01:19 PM
Im going to go with the obvious choice and say Jim "Machine Gun" Kelly. Most likely because he was one of my favorite players growing, but more because of the numbers, the leadership, and the perseverance he had/has.
Looking back, and I have to admit I had to a little bit, in high school he excelled in football and basketball, getting recruiting to play Linebacker at Linebacker U Penn State. He played in the Big 33 game, which is Ohio v Penn. Anyone that grew up in those two states knows before the army all american and under armour games, this was the one you wanted to play in.
He had a great career at the U, put up some crazy numbers a 62% completion rate, over 5000 yards and more than 30 td's. Was a 2002 Miami HOF inductee.
Also, played for the USFL Houston Gamblers where he again had over a 60% completion percentage, put up more than 9,000 yards, and had 16 - 300 yards games, 4 - 400 yard games, and 1 - 500 yard explosion. He was the 1984 USFL player of the year, and twice all USFL.
...and all of this before he even got to Buffalo where his legend continued to grow. Which I will cover in my next argument
Catwoman said 06/02, 07:36 AM
Your choice is good, No Comment, but the greatest?
Warren Spahn not only pitched, but he could also bat. He was so good, that sometimes he would be called upon as a pinch-hitter in games where he wasn't pitching. He hit .333 in 1958 with 15 RBIs as well as enjoying a 22-11 pitching record. This was enough to earn the Braves another trip to the World Series. Spahn hit 35 homers in his career, which was more than any other NL pitcher.
Spahn???s career was interrupted by service in the military during WWII. He earned a Purple Heart (wounded in action), a Bronze Star, a battlefield commission, and a presidential citation. He was in the Battle of the Bulge which was fought in the middle of winter, as well as the battle in Remagen, Germany. He said of his military service, "Before the war I didn???t have anything that slightly resembled self-confidence. Then I was tight as a drum and worrying about every pitch. But nowadays I just throw them up without the slightest mental pressure."
His military experience and what he learned there helped to make him the great athlete that he was, mentally and physically.
Will tie up any loose ends in my 3rd argument.
Catwoman said 06/03, 09:07 AM
Definition of the word athlete from dictionary.com:
athlete -- n
1. a person trained to compete in sports or exercises involving physical strength, speed, or endurance,
2. a person who has a natural aptitude for physical activities.
With a career spanning 21 years of excellence, I???d say Warren Spahn epitomizes the definition of the word athlete in definition #1 above. He pitched complete games in more than half that he started, pitched more NL innings than anyone ... ever, won more games than any lefty and threw more shutouts than any other NL left-handed pitcher. At bat he hit more home runs than any pitcher ... ever.
As far as #2 goes, based on my arguments above, Warren Spahn was born to pitch.
This is why I chose Warren Spahn as the greatest athlete in Buffalo sports history.
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