Dazzy Vance

Charles Arthur Vance
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1955
Primary team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Primary position: Pitcher

Renowned for his blazing fastball, Dazzy Vance was the premier strikeout pitcher of the 1920s. He led the National League in strikeouts for seven consecutive seasons from 1922-'28, and often he led by wide margins.

In 1924, he had more strikeouts than the second- and third-place pitchers combined.

"Dazzy Vance could throw a cream puff through a battleship," said former Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Johnny Frederick.

His best season was 1924, when he won the NL Most Valuable Player Award after leading the league in wins (28), ERA (2.16), complete games (30) and strikeouts (262). He beat out fellow Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby – who hit .424 that season – for the award.

He led the league in wins again the next season, during which he also threw a no-hitter against Philadelphia on Sept. 13, 1925.

Vance's Dodgers never won a pennant, and in 1933 he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he joined Dizzy and Paul Dean. He was sold to the Reds the following year, but he was waived back to St. Louis in time to win the 1934 World Series as part of the "Gashouse Gang." He finished his career as a reliever back with Brooklyn in 1935.

Vance's career is even more remarkable considering he did not break into the major leagues for good until the age of 31 in 1922. He had spent the previous decade pitching mostly in the minor leagues, though he made nine appearances between the Pirates and Yankees in 1915, and two more for the Yankees in 1918.

Vance was plagued by sore arms during his his 20s but continued to pitch in the minor leagues. He had a strong season for the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern League in 1921, but at the age of 30, he was far from a hot prospect. But the Pelicans had a catcher named Hank DeBerry whom the Dodgers wanted, so New Orleans offered DeBerry along with Vance in a package deal for $10,000. The Dodgers took the deal, and Vance won 18 games and struck out an NL-best 134 batters as a 31-year-old rookie in 1922, the first of his seven straight seasons leading the league in strikeouts.

Vance was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. He passed away on Feb. 16, 1961.

"When the greatest of all Brooklyn pitchers was fogging them over for the Dodgers, the right sleeve of his sweatshirt was an unsightly rag, a flapping thing of shreds and tatters. Daz would hide the ball until the last instant and then if the batter was lucky, he would see something white rocketing toward him out of distracting flutter of dry goods. "
Red Smith

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1955
Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Position Played: Pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Orient, Iowa
Birth year: 1891
Died: 1961, Homosassa Springs, Florida
Played for:
Pittsburgh Pirates (1915)
New York Yankees (1915)
New York Yankees (1918)
Brooklyn Dodgers (1922-1932)
St. Louis Cardinals (1933-1934)
Cincinnati Reds (1934)
Brooklyn Dodgers (1935)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
442
HitsH
2809
RunsR
1246
Innings PitchedIP
2966.2
WinsW
197
LossesL
140
Winning %Winning %
.585
Games StartedGS
349
ERAERA
3.24
Complete GamesCG
217
ShutoutsSHO
29
WHIPWHIP
1.230
SavesSV
12
Earned RunsER
1068
WalksBB
840
StrikeoutsSO
2045