Claude Osteen

Osteen won in double figures each year from 1964 through 1973. Obtained from Washington in a seven-player deal for Frank Howard in December 1964 after winning 15 for the ninth-place Senators, he became the Dodgers’ third starter behind Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. After Drysdale and Koufax lost Games One and Two of the 1965 World Series, Osteen put Los Angeles on track by shutting out Minnesota in Game Three. Don Sutton‘s arrival in 1966 gave the Dodgers one of the most dominant rotations ever, with four pitchers who each threw at least 40 lifetime shutouts. Typical of Osteen’s hard luck, his 40 shutouts were topped by the 47 thrown against him.

Gomer (so named for his resemblance to TV’s Gomer Pyle) helped carry the Dodger staff through the lean years from 1967 to 1973. After losing a league-high 18 games in 1968, the deliberate worker went 20-15 in 1969, despite allowing the most hits in the NL. His best year was 1972, when he went 20-11 (2.64) and finished strong with seven complete-game victories in his last nine starts. He pitched three shutout innings to win the 1970 All-Star Game, and threw two more scoreless innings in the 1973 contest. He became a pitching coach for the Cardinals and Phillies.