By Robert Woolf

APRIL 19

Bret Saberhagen gets first MLB win- 1984

Bret Saberhagen, a household name? No. A two time Cy Young award winner. You bet. On this day in 1984, Saberhagen got his first MLB win. This was not his first game, but in his previous games, he had gotten no-decisions and even come into the game in relief at some points during the start of the season. The Sparky Anderson managed Tigers were his opponents, as Bret went for his first MLB win. The Tigers had a decent team at the time, with budding stars such as Kirk Gibson and Howard Johnson. Saberhagen went 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, with only one earned one while striking out 4 and walking 2. The Tigers took the early lead, with an RBI-ground out in the first inning. Then back-to-back RBI singles for the Royals gave them the lead. After that they never looked back, going up 5-1 by the time Saberhagen departed. His replacement, Dan Quisenberry came in and gave up a homer to Gibson in the 9th. It didn’t matter as the Royals held on for the 5-2 victory, giving Saberhagen his first step into a very successful career.

In 1985 and 1989, Saberhagen was the best pitcher in the American League, taking home the AL Cy Young in both years. Saberhagen, along with George Brett, led the Royals to the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Saberhagen pitched in Game 3 and Game 7 and was victorious in both games. In Game 7, he pitched a complete game shutout, in a 11-0 blowout to give Kansas City their first title. After the game, Saberhagen was name World Series MVP. He is the only pitcher who won the the Cy Young award twice, and in each of those years, he didn’t make the All-Star team. Saberhagen left the Royals after 8 years, going to the Mets, then the Rockies, then the Red Sox. With the Red Sox in 1998, he won AL Comeback Player of the Year. Saberhagen was on the All-Star ballot in 2007, but only received 7 votes and was not eligible for the next year.

Bret-Saberhagen

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