Virgil Trucks died Saturday night at the age of 95 in Calera, Alabama, which is outside of Birmingham, where he was born on April 26, 1917. He would have been 96 next month. Trucks was a pitcher who played for the Detroit Tigers for 12 seasons.
Trucks is best known for pitching two no-hitters during the 1952 season. Those no-hitters accounted for two wins in his 5-19 season. Trucks and Justin Verlander are the only two Tigers to have pitched two no-hitters. The next season Trucks had a career best 20-10 season. He compiled a 177-135 record during his career. He pitched for the Alexandria Aces, a Class D Evangeline League team and posted a 13-5 record that year. Trucks had a penchant for throwing no-hitters and threw three of them in the minor leagues, before throwing his two major league no-hitters.
1938 was his first minor league season and it was a memorable one as he won 25 games and posted a 1.25 ERA, while totaling an amazing 418 strikeouts, for Andulusia in the Alabama-Florida League.
Music fans might be interested in knowing that Trucks was uncle of Butch Trucks, who was co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band. He was also the uncle of Derek Trucks, a guitarist who is married to blues artist Susan Tedeschi.
He was named to the 1949 and 1954 AL All Star teams and coincidentally led the AL in shutouts with 5 both seasons. Trucks was on the 1964 Hall of Fame ballot, but received only 2 percent of the votes. He led the AL in strikeouts in 1949 with only 153 strikeouts. Warren Spahn of the Boston Braves led the NL in strikeouts in 1949 with 151. No pitcher with the most strikeouts in either league in the last 64 years has posted lower numbers of strikeouts in a season.