I wanted to end this series with a bang so while doing research for other posts. I came across the name Jim Konstanty. Jim was one of baseballs first relief aces. While his stats don't compare to the closers that have come after him.
Without his success in the role baseball would be different than it is today. Starting his career in 1944 for the Cincinnati Reds with 12 starts out of 20 games and zero saves. Jim missed the 1945 season while in the U.S. Navy before returning as a Boston Brave in 1946. In a very disappointing season he was 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA in 10 games before having his contract sold to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Once again Jim was back to the majors in 1948 with the Phillies. In six games he was 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA and making his first two saves of his career. The following season Jim became the teams biggest figure out of the bullpen. Finishing the season with 7 saves and second to Ted Wilks.
The following season was Jim's best as he had 22 saves. Due to his great work from the pen he was rewarded as the first and to date only reliever to win National League MVP. Staying as a closer until 1953 when he made 19 starts winning 10 of those games. After the season Jim went back to full-time in the Pen for the remainder of his career. Pitching until 1956 a year he was on three different teams. The following season Jim played a few games for the San Fransisco Seals before retiring.
EARNED RUN AVERAGE- 3.46
NL All-Star (1950)
NL MVP (1950)
This has been a fun series to write and learn a little more information about past and present closers. Hopefully anyone who has come along to read this series has learned some stuff as well. If you have anything to share I'd love to hear it in the comments.