Bobby Shantz was one of the best-fielding pitchers of the 1950s and 1960s. He won eight consecutive Gold Gloves from 1957 to 1964, and was the first player to win that award in both leagues. He also won 119 games (against 99 losses) in a 16-year major league career.
Shantz was signed by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1948 and was pitching in the major leagues a year later, going 6-8 with a 3.40 ERA as a rookie in 1949. He was 18-10 for the A’s in 1951, and was 24-7 in 1952, leading the American League in wins and capturing the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
He was plagued by injuries over the next three seasons and was traded to the New York Yankees in 1956, going 11-5 for the Yankees in 1957 and leading the American League with a 2.45 ERA. Over the next three seasons, Shantz made the transition from starter to the bullpen, where he would work throughout the 1960s.
In 1960 Shantz was selected by the Washington Senators in the expansion draft, and then was traded almost immediately to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Harry Bright, Bennie Daniels and R C Stevens. After going 6-3 with a 3.32 ERA for the Pirates in 1961, Shantz again was selected in an expansion draft, this time by the Houston Colt .45s. He split the 1962 season between the Houston Colt .45s and the St. Louis Cardinals, posting a combined record of 6-4 with a 1.95 ERA.
In 1964, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs as part of the deal that brought Lou Brock to the Cardinals. Shantz closed out his career pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1965. He finished with a career earned run average of 3.38. Shantz was a three-time All-Star.