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SEPTEMBER 17 (1980) - CG*
By Bill Grimes
Sep 17, 2007 - 2:02 AM

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End of an ERA

 

ARLINGTON , TEXAS * SEPTEMBER 17, 1980 Ė An era came to an end on this date in 1980. Oakland Aís starter Rick Langford got the hook after giving up a two-run homer to the Texas Rangersí Rusty Staub .
rick_langford_autograph.jpg
Image courtesy of Baseball Almanac
Langford had pitched 22 consecutive complete games (he was one out from his 23rd). Langford would finish the 1980 season with 28 complete games.
Burt Blyleven
had 24 in 1985, but no one in either league has come close since.

 

Langford was a ways from the consecutive complete games record of 39 set by Jack Taylor of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1904.

 

Baseball Almanac has an interesting list of complete game leaders throughout history at http://www.baseball-almanac.com/pitching/picomg4.shtml. Thirty and forty complete games by a starting pitcher were not uncommon in the early 20th century. Jack Chesbro threw 48 for the New York Highlanders in 1904. The list is full of twenty and thirty complete games throughout most of the 1900ís until the late 80ís. No one in either league has reached double digits since Randy Johnson ís 12 in 1999. In 2006, the leaders in both leagues had 6, C. C. Sabathia in the American and Aaron Harang in the National.

 

The stat thatís gone up since complete games have gone down is Saves.

 

Contributing sources:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/pitching/picomg4.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_game#Single-season_Leaders

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=langfri01

http://www.retrosheet.org/

 

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