Friday, November 27, 2009

#11 1964 AL Strikeouts Leaders: Al Downing, Camilo Pascual, and Dean Chance

#11 AL Strikeout Leaders
Now that we're all doped up on turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, let's take a peek at some more standout pitching performances from around the American League in 1964, whaddaya say?

The photographer seems to have surprised Al Downing; maybe he had just arrived from the future to foretell of Hank Aaron's 715th home run. In just his second full season, the 23-year-old Yankee led the loop with 217 strikeouts...and 120 walks. Both were career highs.

That looks like Camilo Pascual's Myspace photo; how's that for outdated-yet-before-its-time humor? Much to the Cuban righthander's chagrin, he fell just four K's short of leading the AL for the fourth straight season. His personal-best total came in 1961, when he whiffed 221 batters.

What a surprise - it's Dean Chance on a pitching leaders card! His 207 punchouts left him just shy of a pitching Triple Crown, as he topped the A.L. in wins (20) and ERA (1.65). He would top 200 K's twice more, including a high of 234 in 1968.

As an interesting side note, Sam McDowell was far and away the league leader in strikeouts per nine innings, with 9.2. Downing was #2 at 8.0. But "Sudden Sam" only tossed 173.1 innings in 1964, leaving him eighth in total whiffs at 178.
#11 AL Strikeout Leaders (back)

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