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johnr1note
11-07-2006, 05:46 PM
Former MLB pitcher and former White Sox pitching coach Johnny Sain passed away this afteroon at the nursing home he was a resident at in Downers Grove. I don't have any other details.

What a great coach and pitcher he was.

buehrle4cy05
11-07-2006, 05:48 PM
"Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

RIP.:(:

Fenway
11-07-2006, 05:55 PM
"Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

RIP.:(:
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA01/Lisle/memory/images/braves48.jpg

The heart of the 1948 National League champion Boston Braves.

Dan H
11-07-2006, 05:56 PM
He did a great job in the early '70's for the White Sox. He really helped turned a dismal club into a respectable team.

chisoxfan64
11-07-2006, 06:15 PM
I met Johnny Sain at work about 10 years ago. He carried around a box of old newspaper articles about himself that he photocopied. He took a bunch out and autographed them for me. He was a very nice man. R.I.P.

FedEx227
11-07-2006, 06:29 PM
Wow, that really makes me angry that I didn't plan an interview or anything of the such with him. I had no idea he was living in Downers Grove, surprises me greatly that my local newspapers never really spoke of it. Any ideas which home?

soxinem1
11-07-2006, 06:38 PM
If I remember right, Sain is the idol of Leo Mazzone of the Orioles.

My Dad said he had some good years with the Yankees when he was a kid, as both a reliever and starter, along with the famed teaming of Warren Spahn and himself with the Braves.

One thing I always found amazing about him was, what, about 140 career wins in only 6-7 full years as a starting pitcher?

jackbrohamer
11-07-2006, 07:03 PM
If I remember right, Sain is the idol of Leo Mazzone of the Orioles.

You are, I met Mazzone at a bar once and mentioned I was a Sox fan, and he talked about how much he admired Johnny Sain for at least 15 minutes.

Lip Man 1
11-07-2006, 07:43 PM
There was a stretch there from the mid 60's through the early 70's where Sain produced a 20 game winner every season regardless of who he was working for.

He did a great job with the Sox staff's in the early 70's. He was an innovative thinker and apparently pitchers loved to work with him.

He was physically a big man in his time as a pitcher.

Lip

Grzegorz
11-07-2006, 09:08 PM
I never knew he was in Downers Grove. What a great pitcher and coach.

God Bless Johnny Sain...

Oblong
11-07-2006, 09:43 PM
I'm reading Ball Four right now and Sain is featured quite a bit.

I believe he was the pitching coach for the 68 team when Denny McClain won 31 games so give him some credit for that too.

Bouton really liked him.

Lip Man 1
11-07-2006, 10:09 PM
I've just spoken with some of the Sox players who either worked with him or knew him. I'm putting together a story and will send it along to PHG for publication. Sain produced 17 twenty game winners in his 14 seasons as a big league pitching coach including Wilbur Wood (4 times), Stan Bahnsen and Jim Kaat (3 times.)

Lip

SOXSINCE'70
11-07-2006, 10:16 PM
"Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

RIP.:(:

Amen.I second it.

johnr1note
11-07-2006, 10:50 PM
Wow, that really makes me angry that I didn't plan an interview or anything of the such with him. I had no idea he was living in Downers Grove, surprises me greatly that my local newspapers never really spoke of it. Any ideas which home?

It was Rest Haven West. You would not have gotten an interview, because as his health deteriorated, he was in no condition to give an interview, and his wife was very protective of his privacy. I know the administrator at the nursing home, and she has related how many of Johnny's former "pupils" would make point to come see him -- Leo Mazzone, Jim Kaat, and Wilbur Wood, to name a few. She told me Hank Aaron even came by once.

Some of you better baseball historians may know better than me, but I am told that Sain was the first pitcher to face Jackie Robinson. He was handpicked for the task because of his pin point control and personal integrity. Many of the African American players from the 1950s and 60s have a special regard for Johnny because of that, I'm told.

Someone connected with the home also told me that that someone connected with the White Sox had called a few days ago when the word was getting around that the end was near. Supposedly, the team plans to do something as a memorial, or at least to particpate in the family's plans.

Sain will be laid to rest in his home state of Arkansas.

Fenway
11-08-2006, 12:53 AM
Some of you better baseball historians may know better than me, but I am told that Sain was the first pitcher to face Jackie Robinson. He was handpicked for the task because of his pin point control and personal integrity. Many of the African American players from the 1950s and 60s have a special regard for Johnny because of that, I'm told.

.

Sain was the starting pitcher for Boston at Brooklyn for Opening Day 1947

fquaye149
11-08-2006, 01:20 AM
"Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

RIP.:(:

Amen.I second it.

Absolutely. This is a sad moment for baseball. It's not many pitchers could be listed hand in hand with Warren Spahn without batting an eye, but Johnny Sain absolutely could.

And the personal testaments given in this thread only reinforce what a special ballplayer he was.:(:

SBSoxFan
11-08-2006, 08:12 AM
One thing I always found amazing about him was, what, about 140 career wins in only 6-7 full years as a starting pitcher?

And, 9 complete games in 29 days during the '48 season. :o:

slavko
11-08-2006, 11:45 AM
Wasn't his teaching specialty the "controlled breaking pitch," I guess you could call it a slurve? Anyone remember?

Lip Man 1
11-08-2006, 01:33 PM
Slavko:

Spoke with Ed Herrmann this morning (as part of my WSI Sain story) and yes you are correct. Also Bob Vanderberg says that Sain 'invented' the 'slurve.'

Lip

johnr1note
11-08-2006, 11:20 PM
Slavko:

Spoke with Ed Herrmann this morning (as part of my WSI Sain story) and yes you are correct. Also Bob Vanderberg says that Sain 'invented' the 'slurve.'

Lip

The administrator at the nursing home where Sain was living at the time he died got to know Johnny's family well, especially his wife. The administrator once got an invitation to Mrs. Sain's home. While there, she was able to view some of Mr. Sain's trophies. Among them was a device that Johnny had invented to help teach pitchers how to properly grip and release a baseball. She described it to me as a baseball with a broomhandle drilled into it, but it also had some other moving parts. Evidently, this was the device that Johnny used to help teach the art of the "slurve." Mrs. Sain keeps the original handmade version designed and built by Johnny, but evidently there is a commercially availalbe version that Sain had marketed during the time he was a coach.

The administrator marvelled at the concept of how many great baseball pitchers, and some not so great, had used that very device to master thier craft.

Fenway
11-09-2006, 04:06 PM
Bob Ryan spoke about Sain last night on NESN..very nice piece

http://nesn.images.worldnow.com/images/1054912_vt.jpg (http://www.boston.com/partners/worldnow/nesn.html?catID=80766&clipid=1054912&autoStart=true&mute=false&continuous=true)
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/File-Based_Image_Resource/nesn_logo_vwrapper_77.gif


Boston Globe obit this morning


In September 1948, Boston Post sportswriter Gerald Hern published a poem that became part of the city's sports lore, one that Boston Braves fans remember to this day.

"First we'll use Spahn, then we'll use Sain. Then an off day followed by rain. Back will come Spahn followed by Sain. And followed we hope by two days of rain."

The poem, which referred to the two great pitching stars of the National League pennant-winning Braves -- lefthander Warren Spahn and righthander Johnny Sain -- was quickly shortened to its more popular and enduring version "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."


http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2006/11/09/johnny_sain_89_star_pitcher_in_rhyme_about_48_brav es?mode=PF

and Johnny Sain was there for the creation of "The Jimmy Fund"


On April 15, 1947, he faced the Dodgers' Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the majors in the modern era, when Robinson made his debut. Brooklyn won, 5-3, but Mr. Sain held Robinson hitless in three at-bats. And on June 15, 1948,
Mr. Sain beat the Cubs, 6-3, in the first baseball game televised in the Boston area.

During that memorable '48 season, Mr. Sain was part of a live radio broadcast in Boston from the bedside of a 12-year-old cancer patient from Maine identified as "Jimmy."

The boy -- Carl Einar Gustafson -- received a surprise visit from several members of the Braves, including Mr. Sain, Spahn, Alvin Dark, Eddie Stanky, Earl Torgeson, and manager Southworth. The boy was given a baseball and a Braves uniform, and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with the team.
The announcer, Ralph Edwards, asked listeners to send money to Children's Hospital under the name "Jimmy," and thus the Jimmy Fund was born. It was promoted extensively by the Braves until 1953, when the team moved to Milwaukee and the cause was adopted by Ted Williams and the Red Sox.

Mr. Sain, Gustafson, and Feller attended the 50th anniversary of the broadcast and World Series as part of the annual Boston Braves Historical Association reunion.


Last month WBZ-TV discovered a kinnescope of Game 1 of the 1948 World Series in an old storeroom that had been walled off for decades. Sain beat Feller in the game and WBZ believes it maybe the oldest known broadcast of a baseball game.

flo-B-flo
11-11-2006, 05:40 PM
Sain produced 17 twenty game winners in his 14 seasons as a big league pitching coach including Wilbur Wood (4 times), Stan Bahnsen and Jim Kaat (3 times.)

Lip I watched ALL of this.......Incredible.......

flo-B-flo
11-11-2006, 05:41 PM
And, 9 complete games in 29 days during the '48 season. :o: My dad raved on and on about this......Can anyone do that now? I don't think so..........

TomBradley72
11-13-2006, 01:54 PM
Looking back at the White Sox of the early 70's....actually went with what amounted to a three man rotation for a while...Sain was a true innovator and a made a great leadership combo with Chuck Tanner:

1971: Wood, Bradley, John: 116 combined starts (4th starter: Horlen: 18, 5th: Johnson: 16)
1972: Wood, Bahnsen, Bradley: 130 combined starts (4th starter Lemonds: 18)
1973: Wood, Bahnsen: 90 combined starts (3rd starter: Stone: 22, 4th starter; Fischer: 16)
1974: Wood, Kaat, Bahnsen: 116 combined starts (4th starter: Johnson: 18)

johnr1note
11-14-2006, 08:41 AM
I just wanted to personally thank Mark Liptak for a great retrospective on Johnny Sain.

Lip Man 1
11-14-2006, 10:40 AM
John:

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Lip

Fenway
11-14-2006, 11:25 AM
A Johnny Sain tribute from a very unlikely place
http://news.naver.com/sports/index.nhn?category=mlb&menu=cartoon&mode=view&seq=305&office_id=223&article_id=0000000150


http://imgnews.naver.com/image/223/2006/10/29/1162088231.jpg

johnr1note
11-15-2006, 11:03 AM
I've seen that artists work before on the `net. Its Korean, is it not? I wish we could get a translation.

I know I've been dropping names and pushing my connection with the nursing home where Mr. Sain was living when he passed away, but truth be told, I work for the organization that manages the facility. I know the administrator well, and have often been through the home as my job takes me to Downers Grove. I never tried to insert myself into Mr. Sain's situation -- I didn't want to bother him or his wife, and I wanted to respect his privacy.

Well, at the visitation last saturday in Downers Grove (the funeral will be in his native Arkansas) it was amazing to see the people connected to baseball who came from all over the country. Some I didn't recognize, but we did get to speak briefly and shake hands with Jim Bouton, Roland Hemond, and Bill Bartolomey (of the Atlanta Braves). The Yankess and Braves organizations sent incredibly beautiful floral arrangements. I was not able to stay long, but I was told that Denny McClain appeared later in the evening.

The thing that struck me was the personal impact Sain left on all these men. It was more than just honoring Johnny Sain as a great baseball player and coach. These men -- and the dozens of former players who visited him while he was at the nursing home -- all valued Johnny as a friend. I suppose there were baseball fans who came, but the thing is, after all is said and done, after appearing before packed stadiums at the pinnacle of his sport, the people who came were the guys he helped learn to throw a baseball well. The pupils came to honor thier mentor. His friends who battled shoulder to shoulder with him came from the far reaches of the country to a suburb of Chicago to honor him. For a man of such talent and celebrity, that says an awful lot.