Photo Courtesy of Memphis Redbirds / Blues / Chicks Official Scorer:
J.J. Guinozzo (Guinozzo Centre Baseball Research)
Dazzy Vance needed a bit more seasoning, the 26 year old pitcher put up a 6-8 record… rather forgettable except for the fact that he also posted a 2.14 ERA. Dazzy would go on from Memphis to eventually take the #1 starter role with the Brooklyn Dodgers. There he would post an amazing season of 28-6 with a 2.16 ERA and 262 strikeouts to lead the league in all 3 categories, winning the Most Valuable Player award… the second Russwood Park product to do so. He followed that season up with a league leading 22 wins in 1925 and 22 wins again in 1928, not only earning him the title as one of the best pitchers in baseball during this time, but a nomination into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame upon his retirement… an honor bestowed on him when he was inducted in 1955 becoming the first Russwood Park player ever to achieve this honor and forever making Russwood Park a historic ballpark. His teammate, was 17 year old Waite Hoyt. Hoyt put up a very forgettable 3-9 record with a 3.23 ERA… hardly worth remembering. The kid however was ready to take on the world and become the #1 starter for the New York Yankees. So odd that the future Hall of Fame #1 starters for Brooklyn and the Bronx should come to Memphis at the same time and play as teammates… long before their talents were realized. Hoyt would go on to have back to back 19 win seasons in 1921 and 1922 followed by a 22-7 season in 1927 and a 23-7 record for 1928. In all, Hoyt would play in 21 MLB seasons winning 237 games. This 1917 season also featured a popular Major Leaguer by the name of Muddy Ruel (19 2B, .291) who would become a regular for the Senators and would have a terrific career of 19 years in Major League Baseball. Future New York Yankees Sammy Vick who hit 24 2B, 12 3B and batted .322 and future Boston Red Sox' Fred Bratschi (18 2B, 13 3B, 14 HR, .264) also contributed, taking over the all-time lead in Homers for Russwood Park.