Van Lingle Mungo
Born: June 8, 1911 in Pageland, S.C.
Died: Feb. 12, 1985 in Pageland, S.C.
Debut: 1931 | Pos: P
H: 6'2" | W: 185 | B: R | T: R
>> Visit the Van Mungo biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Van Lingle Mungo his way into the major leagues and had the attitude that the only way to get batters out was to strike them out. In 1936, he led the National League with 238. However, he also led the league in walks three times.
He made an impact from his first start in the major leagues. On September 7, 1931, in his debut, Mungo reported to Brooklyn from Hartford and shuts out Boston, 2-0. In his first start, Mungo strikes out 7 and adds a home run.
He was considered to have had as much pitching talent as some of the greats of his time. Between 1932 and 1936, he averaged 16 wins a season and led the National League in games started in 1934 and 1936. In 1934, he led the league with 315.1 innings pitched.
His performances landed him in the All-Star game in 1934, 1936 and 1937. However, he injured his arm in the 1937 game and only won 13 games over the next six years of his career.
Mungo earned a reputation for a fierce temper and a love of drinking. Off the field, he was allegedly involved in some strange incidents, including being smuggled out of Cuba one night to escape the machete-swinging husband of a dancer with whom he'd been caught in bed.
In 1945, he became a junk ball pitcher, finishing 14-7 with a 3.20 earned run average. He also appeared in the All-Star game that season.