Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Final Card: Vern Law

A few days ago on my 1966 blog, I posted the card of Pirate great Bob Friend. Vern Law (#351) was the other half of the Pirates' long-time 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation. Law's career paralleled Friend's, except that Law missed 2 years early on to the military, and stayed in Pittsburgh 2 years after Friend was traded.

1960 was a big year for Vern as he was a 20-game winner, and won the Cy Young award. He also won 2 games in the World Series, as the Pirates defeated the Yankees.



The 1961 to 1963 seasons seem to have been troublesome ones for Vern. Maybe this was due to injuries? He only made 10 starts in 1961. In 1962 he was back, appearing in 23 games (20 starts), but still not the 35-40 games that top starting pitchers made back in those days. In 1963, Law appeared in 18 games (12 starts) but only pitched 76 innings. He also made 2 starts for class-A Kinston. (Sent down to class A? This seems like a rehab assignment.)

In 1964, Law returned to the Pirates rotation full-time, but by now Bob Veale (who has previously been a reliever) was the top dog. Eventually, aging stars like Bob Friend and Vern Law were squeezed out by the younger Steve Blass and Woody Fryman.

Law's final appearance was on August 20, 1967, ending his 16-year career.

2 comments:

Dave said...

One of the nicest Pirates cards made... one of our best pitchers in Forbes Field with the iconic Longines scoreboard and the Cathedral of Learning---which is still there in Oakland---in the background.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Dave,

I never noticed the tall city building in the background until you mentioned it.


A year or 2 ago, the MLB Network had a showing of a highlight film of the 1960 World Series, recently found in the estate of Bing Crosby. (Apparently Bing was a part-owner of the Pirates at the time).

As part of the showing, there was an in-studio discussion hosted by Bob Costas, with several 1960 Pirates on hand, including a dapper, white-haired Vern Law.