Robin Roberts Pitches 28 Consecutive Complete Games!

Robin Roberts Pitches 28 Consecutive Complete Games!

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 Robin Roberts Pitches 28 Consecutive Complete Games!

 In my on-going series about complete games, here’s something I think we can safely put in the file, “It’ll Never Happen Again.”

The great Phillies pitcher Robin Roberts once pitched 28 consecutive complete games! And one of those complete games was a 17-inning affair.  The streak began on August 28, 1952 and ended on July 5, 1953, 64 years ago this week. Although, not a major league record (Dead Ball Era Jack Taylor pitched 187 consecutive complete games!), it’s the most since 1920; and is an achievement he shares with White Sox Hall-of-Famer, Ted Lyons.

Roberts doesn’t get a lot of attention probably because he spent most of his career on second-division Phillies teams. But there’s no doubt he was a great pitcher. He played 19 seasons in the major leagues (1948-1966) for the Phillies (1948-’61), Orioles (1962-’65), Astros (1965-’66), and Cubs (1966). Over his career, Roberts compiled a 286–245 record with 2,357 strikeouts, a 3.41 ERA, 305 complete games, and 45 shutouts. He holds the record for most consecutive opening day starts for the same team with 12, and still holds many Phillies’ pitching records.

The seven-time All-Star won 20 games six times, leading the National League in wins four times. Six times he led the league in games started, five times in complete games and innings pitched. He twice led the league in strikeouts, and once in shutouts. He pitched 300+ innings six times, and currently ranks 28th in all-times wins. On May 13, 1954, Roberts gave up a lead-off home run against the Reds, and then retired 27 consecutive batters to win a 8–1 one-hit game.

Robin Roberts was one of the best control pitchers in baseball history. During his career, he never walked more than 77 batters in any season. His great control and therefore always being around the strike zone accounts for his being second all-time behind Jamie Moyer in home runs allowed with 505.

Robin Roberts made his major league debut on June 18, 1948, and in 1950 he led the Phillies’ Whiz Kids to the teams’ first  pennant since 1915. He started three games in the last five days of the pennant race, defeating the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in a pennant-deciding 10-inning game final game of the season. Roberts won his 20th victory that day, becoming the first Phillies’ 20-game winner since Pete Alexander in 1917. Roberts also started a game in the 1950 World Series, although he missed the opener because of his heavy work load in the last days of the regular season.

He won 28 games in 1952, but his best overall season was probably 1953, going 23–16, and leading the league in strikeouts with 198. In a career-high 346⅔ innings pitched he walked just 66 batters, and his 2.75 ERA was second in the league behind Warren Spahn‘s 2.10.

Robin Roberts was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976, and his #36 has been retired by the Phillies.

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Gary Livacari

Photo Credits: All from Google search

Information: Excerpts edited from the Robin Roberts Wikipedia page.

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

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