Top 100 Yankees of All-Time...#93, Spud Chandler

Spud Chandler was 29 years old before he made his major league debut. Despite a career in which he was constantly plagued by injuries and losing virtually two seasons to military service during WWII, Chandler completed 11 seasons, all with the New York Yankees. He retired with a career winning percentage of .717 (109-43) following the 1947 season. That percentage is the best of any pitcher with more than 100 career wins. For that reason, he is our Greatest Yankee #93.

Spurgeon Ferdinand Chandler, better known as "Spud", had an abbreviated major league career. Nevertheless, he produced one of the finest records in history for a pitcher with ten or more years of service.

Despite his late arrival on to the major league scene, he had the good fortune to play with one of the finest Yankee teams of all time. Therefore, in his 11 seasons he was able to appear in four World Series, posting an overall mark of 2-2 with an excellent 1.62 ERA.

Chandler hit nine career homeruns, and had his best slugging day on July 26, 1940. On that day he hit two dingers against the Chicago White Sox, including a grand slam off Pete Appleton.

In fact, he appeared with the Yanks in three consecutive series from 1941-1943. In the 1941 regular season, he produced a record of 10-4 with a 3.19 ERA. He didn't fare as well in the World Series, however. He started game #2 and was a hard luck loser as he dropped a 3-2 decision to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Yanks, however, disposed of the Ebbets Field nine in five games.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

1937

Yankees

7-4

82.1

79

20

31

2.84

1938

Yankees

14-5

172

183

47

36

4.03

1939

Yankees

3-0

19

26

9

4

2.84

1940

Yankees

8-7

172

184

60

56

4.60

1941

Yankees

10-4

163.2

146

60

60

3.19

1942

Yankees

16-5

200.2

176

74

74

2.38

1943

Yankees

20-4

253

197

54

134

1.64

1944

Yankees

0-0

6

6

1

1

4.50

1945

Yankees

2-1

31

30

7

12

4.65

1946

Yankees

20-8

257.1

200

90

138

2.10

1947

Yankees

9-5

128

100

41

68

2.46



In 1942, he posted a superb 16-5 ledger, which included a 2.38 ERA and 17 complete games in 24 starts. Once again, he pitched well in the World Series, but failed to win a game. He posted a save in game #1, but lost 2-0 in game #3. He allowed only a single earned run in that contest. The Yankees, after posting that game #1 win, then lost four straight, and the Series, to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Spud had by far his finest season in 1943, when he dominated the pitching statistics. He posted a mark of 20-4 with a 1.64 ERA, leading the league in both categories. The ERA was the lowest in the American League in 24 seasons. He also led in winning percentage (.833) and complete games (20) as well. For these achievements, he was named 1943 American League MVP.

In the 1943 World Series, he finally turned things around. He pitched two complete game victories. Along with his 2-0 record, he posted a 0.58 ERA, as the Yanks took the title against the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched a 2-0 shutout in the game 5 final game. His success in the Fall Classic capped one fantastic season for Spud, as it was far and away his career year. He turned 36 years old that September.

World War II intervened and Spud missed the greater parts of the next two seasons, appearing only in five total games and posting just two wins during those campaigns. But when the war ended, he came back with a vengeance.

Chandler was 38 years old in 1946, but he proved that he still had a quite bit left in the tank. It was like he was never gone, and he reached the 20 win plateau for the second time. He completed the year with a record of 20-8, and 20 complete games in 30 starts. He established career highs with 257 1/3 innings twirled and six shut outs. His 2.10 ERA was second only to Hal Newhouser's 1.94 in the American League. The Yankees, however, were not as successful, as they team failed to win the AL pennant, finishing in third place, 17 games behind the Boston Red Sox.

The 1947 season, saw New York back on top in the American League, and the career of 39 year old Spud Chandler was winding down. He had one more very good season, going 9-5 and leading the league with a 2.46 ERA. He also notched 13 complete games in 16 starts, but he was clearly an aging star approaching the end of his playing days.

In the World Series, Spud made only one appearance, and that was in relief. He allowed two runs in two innings in game #3, but the Yanks were victorious against the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven contests. The 1947 World Series outing would be the last game of Spud's career.

Spud's overall numbers were outstanding. His aforementioned winning percentage was only challenged in the following seasons by another Yankee, Whitey Ford, but Ford came up short with a .690 career mark. Chandler also finished with a lifetime 2.84 ERA. If he had not lost the two years to the war effort, he may have had a legitimate shot at the Hall of Fame.

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