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Vern Law

Vern Law
Law being honored on June 19, 2010 at PNC Park for his role on the Pirates' 1960 World Series Championship team.
Born: (1930-03-12) March 12, 1930 (age 85)
Meridian, Idaho
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 11, 1950 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
August 20, 1967 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Win–loss record 162–147
Earned run average 3.77
Strikeouts 1,092
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Career highlights and awards

Vernon Sanders "Vern" Law (born March 12, 1930) is an American former baseball pitcher who played sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played from 1950–51 and 1954–67. He batted and threw right-handed and was listed at Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert"..[1]

Law signed for the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1948 and played for three of their minor league affiliates until 1950, when he was promoted to the major leagues.[1]

Playing career

Law was born on March 12, 1930 in Meridian, Idaho. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 1948 season and spent 1948 and 1949 in the minor leagues.[1][2]

Law made his major league debut for the Pirates in 1950. He played one season and then served in the military from 1951 to 1954. Upon returning the major leagues, eventually earned a spot in the Pirates' starting rotation, steadily demonstrating solid pitching abilities. He shared the NL Player of the Month award in August 1959 (4-0, 1.94 ERA, 25 SO) with Willie McCovey.

In 1960, he had a win–loss record of 20-9 with a 3.08 earned run average. He led the National League in complete games, made the all-star team, and won the Cy Young Award that season. In the 1960 World Series, he won two games to help the Pirates defeat the New York Yankees.[1]

His career was derailed by an injury to his ankle sustained on the bus trip on which the team was celebrating clinching the 1960 pennant. Law was forced to change his pitching style and pitched in pain for the rest of the season and the World Series. Because of his weak ankle, he tore some muscles in the back of his pitching shoulder during the Series. He thought the injury would heal over the winter, but he was not the same for several seasons.[3]

He did manage to win the NL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1965, with a 17-9 record, and a 2.15 ERA in 29 games. He shared the NL Player of the Month award in June of that year (with Willie Stargell), with a 6-1 record, 0.87 ERA, and 32 SO. After two more seasons, he retired in 1967.

Law finished his career with a record of 162-147. He won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1965 for his contributions both on and off the field.[1]

Personal life

Law was made an LDS deacon at the age of 12, became a teacher two years later and was ordained a priest at 17.[4] During his playing career, Law was tagged with the nickname "Deacon" by Pirate broadcaster Bob Prince. According to Law, it was given to him by former Pirate teammate Wally Westlake because he is a member of the ordained priesthood of the LDS Church.

Law is the pitching coach for the Provo High School (PHS) varsity baseball team and is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He currently lives in Provo, Utah.

Law has been credited with saying, "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins" and "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards."[5]

His son Vance Law also played in the major leagues.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Vern Law Statistics and History". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Vern Law Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  3. ^ Moody, John, Kiss It Good-bye. Shadow Mountain: 2010, p. 313
  4. ^ Biederman, Lester J. (April 6, 1958). "Vern Law Pitches Both For Pirates And Mormon Church". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 4. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ Nathan, David H. (2000). The McFarland Baseball Quotations Dictionary. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-0888-7. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Don Drysdale
Joe Torre
Major League Player of the Month
August 1959 (with Willie McCovey)
June 1965 (with Willie Stargell)
Succeeded by
Eddie Mathews
Pete Rose
Preceded by
Clyde King
Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach
Succeeded by
Don Osborn

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