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2. Stan Bahnsen, 1968
Stan Bahnsen played for the New York Yankees from 1966-1971.
Is that Stan Bahnsen in the photograph above? Nope! It’s a photo of Yankee greats gathering at the stadium for Old-Timers’ Day around the same period. That’s how forgotten Bahnsen’s incredible performance during the dark days of the 1968 season still is today.
Man oh man, did the 23-year-old hurler earn the honors, though.
Bahnsen, with the good fortune to debut during the wildest year in pitching history with the spookiest mound ever envisioned, went 17-12 with a 2.05 ERA in 267.1 innings pitched — he finished ninth in ERA, the first pitcher on the leaderboard with a mark above 2.00.
The lanky righty nearly swept the votes for this award in ’68, taking 17 of the 20 and only losing three to Washington’s Del Unser.
Ultimately, his entire career was fairly valuable, too — though Bahnsen bounced around, he still wrapped up a 16-year career with a 146-149 record and a 3.60 ERA, ending things on the 1982 Phillies.
But we’d bet you weren’t thinking about him until we brought him up, were you? Kudos to you, forgotten Nebraskan.