OTD in 1972, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton wins his 15th consecutive game in a 9-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The win is his 20th on the season. “Lefty” Carlton would go on to win 27 games, while his Phillies would only total 59 wins as a team. His 27 wins would lead the entire Major Leagues and Carlton’s 1972 performance also included league leading totals of a 1.97 ERA, 41 starts, 30 complete games and 310 strikeouts. The 27-yr old Carlton earned his 4th All-Star Game selection in 1972 and would win the 1972 NL Cy Young Award for his season’s performance.
Before his Hall of Fame MLB career, Carlton started his pro baseball career with the Rock Hill Cardinals of the Western Carolinas League in 1964. After signing out of college with the Cardinals in 1963, Carlton was assigned to St. Louis’ Class A affiliate in Rock Hill, SC in 1964 to begin his professional career. In 11 games as a starter for Rock Hill, Carlton went 11-1 with a 1.03 ERA and struck out 91 in 79 innings of work allowing no home runs to his Western Carolinas League opponents. His performance in Rock Hill earned him a promotion to the Northern League Winnipeg Goldeyes and eventually to the Cardinals Class AA Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League.
Steve Carlton’s consecutive win streak ended at 15 in 1972 when his next start resulted in an 11-inning complete game 2-1 loss on August 21, 1972. His win streak was 4 games shy of the National League and MLB modern-day record of 19 by Rube Marquard of the NY Giants in 1912.