* Hoyt Wilhelm 1968
One of baseball’s greatest relief pitchers. Made big leagues at age 28, but played until age 49, when he was oldest effective player in major league history. Master of knuckleball. Played for nine teams, 1952–1972. Spectacular 1952 rookie season with New York Giants when he went 15-3 and led NL in winning percentage, games pitched, and earned run average. Starter for Baltimore Orioles in late 1950s. Led AL in earned run average, 1959. Most of career spent as relief pitcher. Major league record 143-122, 227 saves, and earned run average of 2.52. Pitched in 1,070 games. First to pitch in more than 1,000 major league games. First relief pitcher in National Baseball Hall of Fame. Pitched 1958 no-hitter against New York Yankees for Baltimore. Won Purple Heart at Battle of Bulge. Born 1923, Huntersville. Died August 23, 2002.