Introducing… Vic Raschi

Rifle Vic Raschi was one of the Yankees’ co-aces of their postwar era dynasty.  The right-hander from William and Mary College got a late start in the Majors due to the war as he missed minor league action to military service.  When Vic finally made the Majors, he was 27-years-old but he would have a magnificent career regardless.  He posted an amazing .667 career winning percentage, had three consecutive 20-win seasons and won six World Series titles with New York.

Raschi was originally signed by the Yankees in 1941–the year Pearl Harbor was bombed.  After some time in the minors, Vic joined the military, thus putting his baseball career on hold.  After his discharge, The Springfield Rifle flourished for the Binghamton Triplets and made his Major League debut at the end of the 1946 season.  He made two starts for the Yankees and won each decision.  Despite his perfect brief showing, Vic was farmed out again in 1947 but came up to stay halfway through the season. 

Vic went 7-2 down the stretch for the Yankees who captured the American League flag.  He only faced six batters in the World Series as the Yankees downed the Dodgers but would eventually win five Fall Classic contests and six rings.  In 1948 Vic enjoyed a breakout year as he won 19 games and made the first of four All-Star teams.  During his prime, he was typically among the league leaders in strikeouts as he finished fifth in that category in ’48.  But beginning in 1949, Raschi kicked off a three-year string of 20+ win seasons.

Raschi would win 21 games exactly each year from 1949 to 1951.  The Yankees would win the World Series in each of Raschi’s 20-win campaigns.  In ’49 he led the AL in games started while working 275 innings.  The following year was one of his best seasons as he paced the AL in winning percentage and fanned 155 batters.  He put a solid finishing touch on the 1950 season by tossing a two-hit shutout in the World Series. 

Rifle Raschi was at his best in 1951 when he led the American League in strikeouts.  He won 21 games again.  During that three-year span, Raschi’s winning percentage never fell below .677.  In that season’s World Series he posted a nifty 0.87 ERA in two games in a Fall Classic triumph over the Giants.  But Raschi only had one more 200+ inning season left in his wing.  In 1952 his win total fell to 16, but he added two more in the World Series over the Dodgers. 

After posting a personal best ERA of 2.78 in 1952, Raschi went 13-6 in ’53 in just 181 innings.  Vic won his sixth World Series ring that season but it would be his last.  No longer able to chew-up the innings, Vic was sold to the Cardinals for the 1954 season.  Always adept at missing bats, Raschi had his worst season in 1954–the first year he averaged over a hit per inning of work.  Released by the Redbirds after one start in 1955, Vic finished his career with the lackluster Kansas City A’s that season. 

THE NUMBERS

W 132/L 66/PCT .667/ERA 3.72/G 269/CG 106/IP 1,819/H 1,666/BB 727/SO 944

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