Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In Memoriam: Virgil "Fire" Trucks

On Tuesday, former pitcher Virgil Trucks passed away at the age of 95.  He pitched from 1941-58, primarily for the Detroit Tigers. His career record was 177-135 with an ERA of 3.39 and with 1,534 strikeouts.  Trucks was also a 2 time All Star and 1945 World Series Champion with the Tigers. He also lead league in shutouts twice and his lone 20 win season was in 1954, splitting the season with the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns.

1949 Bowman
He is most famous for pitching two no hitters in one season for the Tigers in 1952.  He played for a terrible Tigers team that year who ended up losing 104 games and Trucks finished the season with a 5-19 record and ERA of 3.97.  His two no-hitters in one season was previously accomplished only by Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 and Allie Reynolds in 1951 and since by Nolan Ryan in 1973 and Roy Halladay in 2010.  He pitched his gems against Washington Senators on May 15 and New York Yankees on Aug 25. His no-hitter vs New York is the last complete game no-no for an opposing pitcher against the Yankees in New York.  Also, Justin Verlander is the only other Tiger throw two career no hitters.

Trucks missed nearly two seasons for military service in World War II.  He was released from the Navy less than two weeks prior the 1945 World Series vs the Chicago Cubs.  MLB waived the rule of a player having to be a part of the roster prior to September 1 in order to be eligible to play in the post season.  Trucks started and won Game 2 for the Tigers.  He was the only one person in MLB history until Chris Carpenter in 2012 to win a post season game without winning one during the regular season.

On a personal level and for you music lovers, one other fact about Trucks is that he the uncle of Butch Trucks, one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers and his grand nephew is Derek Trucks of the Derek Trucks Band.

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