Anderson, Indiana, native Carl Erskine was one of the top pitchers in the National League from 1948-59 with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers.
He won 20 games in 1953, hurled no-hitters in 1952 and 1956 and was 2-2 overall in five World Series with Brooklyn.
I recently asked Erskine, 90, how he approached pitching to some of the greatest hitters in the NL in the 1950s.
Stan Musial: “He hit to all fields and was a pure contact hitter who was tough to strike out. I faced him 164 times and he struck out only four times. I got Red Schoendienst and Enos Slaughter out constantly ahead of him, consequently, my lifetime record against the Cardinals was 23-8. My best luck with Stan was off-speed pitches.”
Willie Mays: “Willie liked the ball away so he could get his arms out. I pitched him fastballs inside with some off-speed curves mixed in.”
Hank Aaron: “Hank was an excellent fastball hitter, especially low. I threw him high fastballs and overhand curves. In six seasons, he hit only five home runs against me. I once asked Hank his theory on hitting and he said: ‘Attack the ball before it attacks you.’”
Ernie Banks: “Another low fastball hitter. I would show him the high fastball and change speeds.”
Trivia Time – Ned Garver began his professional baseball career with the Newark Moundsmen of the Ohio State League in 1944.
This week’s question – Which National League teams did Carl Erskine hurl no-hitters against?
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout