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Dick Ellsworth Newsbeat

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Former Cubs lefthander Dick Ellsworth has died

Dick Ellsworth was a lefthanded pitcher who exhibited great promise for the Cubs in the early 1960s.

In 1963, he made 37 starts, went 22-10 (back when individual pitcher wins really meant something), posted a 2.11 ERA and led the major leagues in ERA+ at 167. Yes, better than Sandy Koufax of the pennant-winning Dodgers. Koufax won the NL MVP and the (then single) Cy Young Award, but there were those who favorably compared Ellsworth to Koufax. After he threw a one-hitter against the Phillies June 1, Edward Prell wrote in the Tribune:

Dick Ellsworth has been a magnificent pitcher all year. Today that elegant word was inadequate when the 23-year-old Cub lefty held the Phillies to one hit — a bunt — in a 2-0 victory. It was the finest performance of his budding career.

Ellsworth finished 19th in NL MVP voting that year, and his 10.2 bWAR season was a close second to Koufax’ 10.7. It remains to this day the second-best bWAR season by any Cubs pitcher (Pete Alexander, 11.9 in 1920 leads the list).

Injuries prevented Ellsworth from fulfilling that promising beginning, and eventually the Cubs traded him away.

Dick Ellsworth passed away Monday in his hometown of Fresno, California, aged 82.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2022 at 12:01 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dick ellsworth, obituaries



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