Dodgers Top Individual Seasons by a Starting Pitcher: #5 Dazzy Vance – 1927
Dazzy Vance had bounced around Major League Baseball and the affiliated leagues for much of his first seven years in baseball. However, it wasn’t until he was acquired by the then Brooklyn Robins before the 1922 season that things started to click.
Vance would go on to win 18 games in each of the 1922 and 1923 seasons. Then we went off in 1924. At a time when modern pitchers are starting to wind down in their careers, the 33-year-old Vance won a Dodgers-record 28 games (28-6) with a 2.16 ERA, a 2.64 FIP and also led the league in strikeouts (262), complete games (30), and hits per nine innings (6.9). Vance would win the pitcher’s Triple Crown on the season and included an immaculate inning for good measure.
To put into perspective just how dominant Vance was against the rest of the National League pitchers in 1924, the next closest pitcher in strikeouts had 127 less on the season (teammate Burleigh Grimes – 135). He was also half a run lower in ERA, had six more wins, and his WPA (win probability added) of 7.5 was more than double that of the next closest pitcher (Emil Yde – 3.4).
It was no surprise that, at season’s end, Vance was named National League Most Valuable Player. It was the first time in National League history that a pitcher had won the award and joined Walter Johnson as the second time in MLB history (Walter Johnson – 1913) the feat had been accomplished.