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Hall of Fame lefty Warren Spahn and righthander Burdette gave the Braves a formidable one-two punch, with 443 victories between them in 13 seasons. A slider and sinkerball pitcher, Burdette was widely accused of throwing a spitball as well. His constant fidgeting on the mound fed that suspicion; it didn't indicate nervousness. Teammate Gene Conley said, "Lew had ice water in his veins. Nothing bothered him, on or off the mound. He was a chatterbox out there ... He would talk to himself, to the batter, the umpire, and sometimes even to the ball."
Besides winning 20 games in 1958 and 21 in '59, Burdette won 19 twice and 18 once. His 2.70 ERA topped the NL in 1956. In two All-Star Games, he allowed only one run in seven innings. He no-hit the Phillies on August 18, 1960.
On May 26, 1959, he was the winning pitcher when Pittsburgh's Harvey Haddix hurled 12 perfect innings against the Braves, only to lose in the 13th. That winter, the puckish Burdette asked for a $10,000 raise, explaining: "I'm the greatest pitcher that ever lived. The greatest game that was ever pitched in baseball wasn't good enough to beat me, so I've got to be the greatest!" (TJ)