Top 50 Sox Seasons #40: Lefty Grove, 1935

20-12, 2.70/1.233/.259, 273 IP, 121 K, 65 BB, 4.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 1.9 K/BB, 23 CG, 175 ERA+
All-Star, MVP – 14

Bob Grove’s career looked to be in its final stages – if not over entirely – when his arm went dead in 1934, just after being sold to Tom Yawkey’s Red Sox. Connie Mack even offered to take Grove back and refund Yawkey his money, but Yawkey declined. Good thing, as Grove rebounded in 1935, completing 23 of his 30 starts, leading the league in WHIP and ERA, and winning 20 games for the eighth time in nine seasons.

How did he recover to post three of the top 50 seasons ever in Red Sox history? Grove realized he could no longer rely on his fastball – one Hartford Courant headline from August 1935 proclaims: “Hurler Has Learned to Pitch, Not Just ‘Throw’”.

Key game:  July 5. Grove limits the newly Ruth-less (but not Gehrig-less) Yankees to seven hits in a 4-3 win in the first game of a doubleheader.

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