Happy Birthday, Warren Spahn.
The Buffalo native who is baseball's all-time victory leader among left-handed pitchers, would have turned 100 today. He was born on April 23, 1921. In honor of the occasion, Mayor Byron Brown has proclaimed Friday as "Warren Spahn Day" in Buffalo.
Spahn, who died at 82 in 2003 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, was a graduate of South Park High School and pitched his school to a pair of Cornell Cup Series championships in the Buffalo Public Schools. A portion of Cazenovia Parkway near his alma mater was designated "Warren Spahn Way" in 2004.
He started his big-league career with the Boston Braves in 1942, the same year he joined the U.S. Army. He served for four years during World War II and was a Purple Heart recipient before returning to baseball in 1946.
Spahn's career stretched to 1965, including 13 seasons of 20+ victories and 17 All-Star appearances. He led the National League in wins eight times. The Warren Spahn Award is given annually to the game's best left-handed pitcher. It was won last year by Toronto's Hyun Jin Ryu.
Said Brown's proclamation in part:
"WHEREAS, Spahn, who was fond of saying “A pitcher needs two pitches – one they’re looking for and one to cross them up.” was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1973; and
"WHEREAS, Spahn passed away on Nov. 24, 2003 and in 2004 the City of Buffalo named Warren Spahn Way in South Buffalo in his honor; and April 23, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of Warren Spahn’s birthday,
"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT I, BYRON W. BROWN, Mayor of the City of Buffalo, do hereby proclaim April 23, 2021 as Warren Spahn Day in the City of Buffalo and join my fellow citizens in recognizing his great accomplishments."