By Zane Miller
In the 76-season long history of the Winston-Salem Dash, the team has gone 8 for 12 in championship finals appearances, to go along with making 24 postseason appearances in total. As of this writing, Winston-Salem’s best regular season record came in 1950 at 106-47, while their worst came in 1954 at 44-94. These are the top five single seasons by starting pitchers that I felt have stood out the most during the team history of the Winston-Salem Dash.
In total, the team has won eight championships, coming in 1950, 1951, 1964, 1973, 1985, 1986, 1993 and 2003. The team was previously known as the Winston-Salem Cardinals from 1945 to 1956 before becoming the Winston-Salem Red Birds from 1957 to 1960, then changing to the Winston-Salem Red Sox from 1961 through 1983. The team changed again to the Winston-Salem Spirits from 1984 to 1994, before renaming to the Winston-Salem Warthogs from 1995 through the 2008 season.
5. Lee Peterson (1952)
After being signed as an amateur free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1941, Peterson went 19-6 with Winston-Salem in 1952. He would allow seven home runs, 46 earned runs and 163 hits in 213 innings, claiming an ERA of 1.94. The Cardinals finished the year at 74-63 to reach the 1952 playoffs, before being swept by the Durham Bulls three games to none in the first round.
4. Jim Lewey (1951)
After being signed as a free agent by the Cardinals in 1951, Lewey pitched his way to a 19-7 showing with Winston-Salem in 1951. Allowing 11 home runs, 65 earned runs and 176 hits in 221 innings pitched for a 2.65 ERA, the Cardinals made the 1951 playoffs with an 81-58 record, sweeping the Raleigh Capitals four games to none in the first round before defeating the Reidsville Luckies four games to one in the finals to earn their second championship in franchise history as well as their first back-to-back championship.
3. Lee Peterson (1949)
Making his second appearance on this list, Peterson scored a 19-10 record with the Cardinals in 1949, going 223 innings with 55 earned runs and 209 hits allowed to take an ERA of 2.22. Winston-Salem claimed a record of 84-61 to qualify for the 1949 playoffs, getting swept by the Raleigh Capitals four games to none in the first round.
2. Rob Snow (1966)
After being signed as an amateur free agent by the Boston Red Sox in 1964, Snow brought an impressive 20-2 record with Winston-Salem during the 1966 season, going 190 innings while allowing just six home runs, 37 earned runs and 133 hits to grab a 1.75 ERA. The Red Sox took an 82-58 record to make the 1966 playoffs, sweeping the Burlington Senators two games to none in the first round, then losing to the Rocky Mount Leafs two games to none in the finals.
1. Lee Peterson (1950)
Peterson’s third entry on this list saw him score a 21-10 record with the Cardinals in the 1950 season, giving up only nine home runs, 87 earned runs and 265 hits over the course of 256 innings pitched to claim a 3.06 ERA. Winston-Salem finished with their best regular season record (as of this writing) of 106-47 to easily get to the 1950 playoffs, where they defeated the Reidsville Luckies three games to two in the first round, then took down the Burlington Bees four games to one in the finals to seal their first championship in franchise history.
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