Don Drysdale

Donald Scott Drysdale
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1984
Primary team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Primary position: Pitcher

Pirates shortstop Dick Groat once claimed “Batting against Don Drysdale is the same as making a date with a dentist”. Drysdale was a tough pitcher, who along with Sandy Koufax, formed the most dominant pitching tandem of the 1960s.

The hard throwing right hander had a reputation for owning the plate. Sportswriter Dave Anderson wrote “Home plate is 17 inches wide. But to Don Drysdale it is divided into three parts—the inside four inches, the middle nine inches and the outside four inches. To him only the middle part belongs to the hitter; the inside and the outside part belong to the pitcher”.

Drysdale used a sidearm fastball and brushback pitches to intimidate hitters, and was not afraid to throw inside, as Orlando Cepeda described “The trick against (Don) Drysdale is to hit him before he hits you”. Upon his retirement from the game, Drysdale’s 154 batters hit by a pitch were a modern National League record. As he put it “My own little rule was two for one—if one of my teammates got knocked down, then I knocked down two on the other team”.

Although he had better peripheral stats in other seasons, Drysdale took home the Cy Young Award in 1962 when he won 25 games, at a time when there was only one Award given in the major leagues. In 1968, he pitched 58 straight scoreless innings, a record that would stand for twenty years. During that stretch of consecutive scoreless innings was a record six straight shutouts.

A terrific all around athlete, Drysdale could swing the bat as well as throw the ball. In his career he hit 29 home runs including seven in each of the 1958 and 1965 seasons, a record for home runs in a season by a National League hurler. In his major league career he batted as high as sixth in the line-up and was used as a pinch hitter from time to time. He was the only .300 hitter in the line-up for the 1965 World Series champion Dodgers.

Drysdale’s 14 year big league career ended in 1969 at the tender age of 32. After his playing days, he stayed involved in the game as a broadcaster for the White Sox, Rangers, Expos, Angels and Dodgers. When his wife, Ann Meyers was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, it marked the only marriage between Hall of Famers from any of the four major American sports- football, hockey, basketball and baseball.

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1984
Primary Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position Played: Pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Van Nuys, California
Birth year: 1936
Died: 1993, Montreal. Canada
Played for:
Brooklyn Dodgers (1956-1957)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1958-1969)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
518
HitsH
3084
RunsR
1292
Innings PitchedIP
3432
WinsW
209
LossesL
166
Winning %Winning %
.567
Games StartedGS
465
ERAERA
2.95
Complete GamesCG
167
ShutoutsSHO
49
WHIPWHIP
1.148
SavesSV
6
Earned RunsER
1124
WalksBB
855
StrikeoutsSO
2486