Jim Konstanty

An all-around athlete from Syracuse University, Konstanty had brief trials with the Reds and Braves before finally developing a palm ball and sticking with the Phillies in 1949, at age thiry-two. In 1950 he led Philadelphia to the pennant with 16 wins and 22 saves (both NL highs) in a then-record 74 appearances, all NL highs. He was the first relief pitcher to win the MVP award. After having relieved in 133 straight games for the Phillies, he started Game One of the 1950 WS and lost to the Yankees 1-0. Konstanty dropped a league-high 10 out of the bullpen in 1951, started 19 games in 1953, and saved 11 for the 1955 pennant-winning Yankees, but he never again approached the success of his MVP season.