Bullet Bob Turley, who was the first Yankee to win the CYA and who was a star of their 1958 WS Championship team, died yesterday at the age of 82.
Turley began his career in 1951 with the St. Louis Browns, going 0-1 in one game. He returned to the majors with the Browns in 1953, going 2-6. After a 14-15, 3.46 1954 season with the Orioles (the Browns moved to Baltimore after 1953) in which he led the majors in K and BB, was an All-Star and finished 23rd in MVP voting, he was traded to the Yankees in a 17-player deal.
Turley went 17-13, 3.06 for the 1955 Yankees. He was an All-Star, but led the AL in walks again. He went 0-1, 8.44 in the WS.
In 1956, Turley was 8-4, 5.05. He did pitch a great game in losing Game 6 of the WS. In 11 IP in the series, he only gave up 1 run.
He bounced back in 1957, going 13-6, 2.71. In the WS, he was 1-0, 2.31.
1958 was Turley’s year. He won the CYA (awarded at that time to only ONE pitcher—the best in baseball) by going 21-7, leading the AL in wins and CG, and the majors in winning pct. and … walks. Not only did he win the CYA, but he drew seven first-place votes in finishing as the runner-up to Jackie Jensen for the AL MVP award (Mantle got no first-place votes as he finished 5th). He was named an All-Star for the third and final time.
Turley went 2-1, 2.76 in the WS with a save. The Yanks, down 3 games to 1, came back to win the last three games of the Series behind Turley. He threw a CG shutout in Game 5, saved Game 6 by getting the last out and came out of the bullpen to win Game 7 with 6 2/3 innings of relief. He was named the 1958 WS MVP.
Turley wasn’t the same after that, going 26-33, 4.19 from 1959 through his final year of 1963. He dropped to 8-11, 4.32 in 1959 and was 9-3, 3.27 in 1960. He was 1-0, 4.82 in the 1960 WS.
In 15 postseason appearances, eight starts, Turley was 4-3, 3.19. He was a member of four Yankees WS Championship teams (1956, 1958, 1961 and 1962).
After going 3-5, 5.75 for the Yanks in 1961, he went 3-3, 4.57 for the Yanks in 1962. He wound up his career going 3-11, 4.20 combined for the Angels and Red Sox in 1963. 2-7, 3.30 for the Angels and 1-4, 6.10 for Boston.
His last game was just two days after he turned 33.
He wound up his career 101-85 with an ERA of 3.64 (ERA+ 101; 100 is average). His 162 g. average was 39 g., 29 starts, 13-11, 3.64.
As a hitter, Turley hit .126, with 4 HR and 32 RBI. His OPS+ was (-4).
Turley was known for picking up opposing pitcher’s pitches. Many times, he could tell whether the pitch would be a fastball or breaking ball and would whistle to let hitters like Mickey Mantle know what was coming.
Turley wore #19 with the Yanks.
The Yanks beat Army at West Point Saturday, 10-5. Brennan Boesch and Melky Mesa HR’d. They have off today (Easter Sunday) and will open the season at home vs. Boston tomorrow with CC on the mound.