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About Me: What can I say? I was a right-handed pitcher known for my career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, whom I played for from 1931 to 1941. At the end of my baseball career, I also played for our arch-rivals, the New York Giants.
I averaged 16 wins per season from 1932 through 1936 and led the National League in strikeouts with 238 in 1936. I was named to the All-Star team in 1934, 1936, and 1937. But that all happened before I injured my arm in the 1937 All-Star Game. I won only 13 major league games over the next six seasons before serving in WWII. But I'm proud to say that after my military service I closed out my career in 1945 by going 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA for the Giants.
I compiled a 120-115 won-lost record (including 123 complete games and 20 shutouts) over 2,113 innings pitched, with a 3.47 lifetime ERA.
My favorite manager? Hands down, Casey Stengel, who once said when asked about managing me as a player, "(Van Lingle) Mungo and I get along fine. I just tell him I won't stand for no nonsense, and then I duck." As he said, Casey and I got on just fine.
Stories and anecdotes about me tend to emphasize my reputation for combativeness, including episodes of drinking and fighting. The most widely told story concerns a visit to Cuba where I was caught in "a compromising position" with a married woman by her husband. I punched the husband in the eye, leading him to attack me with a butcher knife or machete, requiring Dodgers executive Babe Hamberger to smuggle me in a laundry cart to a seaplane waiting off a wharf in order to escape the country.
And, yes, it's also true that when my RF botched a game-ending fly-ball, resulting in our losing the game, I did send a telegram to my wife, saying, "Pack up your bags and come to Brooklyn, honey. If Winsett can play in the big leagues, it's a cinch you can too."
But today I'm perhaps best known for the 1969 novelty tune by Dan Frishberg titled "Van Lingle Mungo."
I died in 1985. In my obit headline, the NYTimes described me as a "colorful pitcher." I can live (or should I say "die"?) with that. Baseball been very, very good to me!
Comment on: 'Red Sox not disheartened after dropping road finale'
Posted 04/30/2012 12:08:18 EDT
"But if you want to make a judgement of where they are at this point, you should look at the team ERA over the past week instead of the last month." tooner: Both viewpoints have validity. The problem more »
Posted 04/30/2012 12:02:10 EDT
One reason I've always liked Jim Leyland. He doesn't make excuses for himself or his team. In yesterday's game against the Yankees, which Detroit lost 6-2, an early turning point was when the Tigers' more »
Posted 04/30/2012 10:41:22 EDT
"They should have lost the Lester game! Chicago should have scored first--stupid base running!!!" rsposato: Re-calculating our W-L record, based on how the game should have or could have played out is more »
Posted 04/30/2012 10:24:40 EDT
Don Pardo: "...and all our contestants, I mean commentators, today take with them our home version of The Dating Game." Now I know how other posters feel when they tell me, "Van, enough already." more »
Posted 04/30/2012 10:17:01 EDT
That stat for runs allowed per game should have been 5.62. more »
Posted 04/30/2012 10:15:46 EDT
Not surprisingly, we're second in the AL in runs scored per game at 5.52, trailing only the NYY at 5.62, but we're second to Minnesota in giving up the most runs per game at 5.52. As our W-L record su more »
Posted 04/30/2012 09:40:46 EDT
As a public service, I offer this response to UncleJBH's YouTube posting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC3l9U-jdOM more »
Posted 04/30/2012 09:09:33 EDT
We seem to be seeing our starting pitchers struggle in the 1st inning so far this season and then settle down. Hoping Valentine addresses this problem with his pitching coach and players. Valentine do more »
Comment on: 'Lester’
Posted 04/29/2012 04:49:54 EDT
I tempted to post something about the history of the Manager of the Year award just to bring the conversation tangentially about baseball. (I almost wrote, "America's past-time," but realized UncleJBH more »
Posted 04/29/2012 04:46:32 EDT
Ladies and gentleman, we interrupt this broadcast to say.... ....something about baseball, today's game? Anyone? Anybody? (Well, not quite anybody.) more »
Comment on: 'Red Sox win fifth straight by beating Chicago, 10-3'
Posted 04/28/2012 08:57:24 EDT
AcesAndEights: Everyone's entitled to his or her (in Fenwayette's case) opinion. I don't expect anyone to agree with me on my posts or responses. I have my take on some of the regulars here, but you'r more »
Posted 04/28/2012 08:45:24 EDT
albasatdawn: Nothing said here is material. Too many think it is and behave accordingly. So, yes, no harm and no foul. I enjoy UncleJBH's posts. If his slings and arrows are in my direction, that's ju more »
Posted 04/28/2012 06:00:27 EDT
albasatdawn: Now, now. There's a difference between mean-spirited commentary and simply pushing the envelope on repartee. No harm. No foul. Ease up on the throttle. more »
Posted 04/28/2012 05:45:08 EDT
Sodom & Gomorrah? Great name for a pub, law firm, heavy metal band, a cocktail, two ex-girlfriends, twin pit-bulls, and a new Ben & Jerry's ice-cream flavor. But not a detour on the road of life. more »
Posted 04/28/2012 05:40:26 EDT
"After 10 starts he'll bring GeorgeAnderson and vanlinglemungo together, and they'll be life-long BFFs?" Sorry to disappoint, Unc, but the guy lacks a sense of humor, particularly the self-deprecating more »
Posted 04/28/2012 12:10:32 EDT
GeorgeAnderson wrote: "I bet you do." And you would be correct, sir! And to show our appreciation you get to take away the home edition of our popular comments-board board game, "Who Dropped the Soap more »
Posted 04/28/2012 12:02:20 EDT
albasatdawn wrote: "locker room banter ventures from the ANAL into the BANAL" alba: Love it. In an earlier time, you should have been writing roadside Burma Shave haiku. I assume you've read "Baseball more »
Posted 04/28/2012 11:59:28 EDT
1underpar wrote: "I must admit that you are correct, van. You'll be pleased to know that you've ruined my day." No, you're confusing me with that non-anal other poster who keep a daily scorecard next more »
Posted 04/28/2012 11:21:28 EDT
Love it when a guy who probably hasn't had a non-prescription drug induced bowel movement since kindergarten refers to anyone else as "anal." more »
Posted 04/28/2012 11:19:12 EDT
You know who: You're so vain. You probably think this post is about you, don't you, don't you.... more »
Posted 04/28/2012 11:12:26 EDT
pizzagem wrote: "I'm out now, van. I got out about a month before you." Glad to hear it. Glad to learn, too, that it's once again safe to take a shower. I imagine for the next year or so you'll need a more »
Posted 04/28/2012 11:09:21 EDT
1underpar wrote: "It's "Better coffee a millionaire's money can't buy." That wasn't the original slogan, which did have "Rockefeller" in it. The threat of a lawsuit had ChockFull O' Nuts change their more »
Posted 04/28/2012 11:06:44 EDT
GeorgeAnderson wrote: "The list is chuck full of teams that either showed dramatic improvement or unexpectedly won divisions. Lotta small market teams, too." That wasn't the issue, George. Your conten more »
Posted 04/28/2012 10:59:11 EDT
Paulbrot wrote: "Pizza the best way to avoid the accident vs. offering calamity is to shower alone." Unfortunately (which belongs here too), depending on where he's incarcerated...oops, make that "whe more »
Posted 04/28/2012 10:17:52 EDT
pizzagem wrote: "Dropping the soap was an accident, not an offering." Yup, just like the gal walking down the street who drops her hankerchief in front of the passing gentleman, "Now, silly me, how di more »