It could be argued there aren’t too many pitchers that are exciting. But Ron Guidry was certainly an exception to that argument.
The aptly nicknamed “Louisiana Lightning” or “Gator” was absolutely electric when he stepped on the mound, and that was true whether it was the first or ninth inning of a game. That was especially true when he struck out the side on the minimum nine pitches in the ninth inning of a game vs. the White Sox in 1984. Two of the batters weren’t exactly slouches, either, in sluggers Carlton Fisk and Greg Luzinski.
Guidry is understandably best known for his amazing 25-3 season in 1978 in which he captured the Cy Young award for fanning 248 batters and posting a sparkling 1.74 ERA. It was magnificent all the way around as the Yanks topped the Dodgers for the World Series title.
Guidry was no “one year wonder” though, posting a 170-91 mark with 1,778 strikeouts in his career. Guidry was a four-time All Star, five-time Gold Glove winner and one of the few captains in the history of the great franchise. “Gator” was at his best in the postseason, going 4-0 with three complete games in the title winning seasons of 1977-78.
The future Yanks pitching coach certainly goes down as one of the team’s best-ever pitchers.
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