1963: Gary Peters, American League Rookie of the Year
Gary Peters needed seven seasons in the minors to gain a full-time spot in the majors, but once he did, he was a long-time stalwart at the top of the rotation for the Chicago White Sox.
Signed out of a Pennsylvania junior college in 1956, Peters debuted in the bigs in September 1959. He had brief cups of coffee in 1960, 1961 and 1962, but those totalled only 12 appearances and 21 innings.
In 1963 he earned a bullpen spot out of spring training, but it wasn’t long before he was getting the ball to start games. Peters made just one relief appearance after June 4 and put together a terrific rookie season.
He appeared in 41 games, starting 30, and was 19-8 with a league-leading 2.33 ERA and a WHIP of 1.070. Peters led the AL in home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.3, surrendering just nine in 243 innings.
He finished with 13 complete games and four shutouts and in 243 innings walked 68 and struck out 189. The White Sox finished second in the American League, 10½ games behind the New York Yankees.
He was an All-Star in 1964 and again in 1967, leaving Chicago in December 1969 when he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. In 11 seasons with the White Sox, Peters was 91-78 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.190 WHIP in 1,560 innings, striking out 1,098 and walking 515. The left-hander completed 60 games and pitched 18 shutouts.