Very few pitchers have gone an entire season with at least 8 wins and no losses. Topping the list is Tom Zachary, who went 12-0 for the Yankees in 1929. One-time Cub Dennis Lamp went 11-0 for the Blue Jays in 1985.
Near the top of that list is Cubs pitcher Ken Holtzman, who had a perfect 9-0 record in 1967.
Topps 1967 Ken Holtzman - take a close look at the picture, and get ready for some deja vu
What made Holtzman's season so unusual is that he was on active military duty during two-thirds of it. This was the Viet Nam era and many players had military obligations. Some were able to get into National Guard outfits and serve their time during the off season. Holtzman was in the National Guard, but on May 20 he was called to active duty. Up to that point in the season, he had started eight games for the Cubs and had a 5-0 record.
He didn't make another appearance for 84 days, on Sunday, August 13. He had been able to secure a weekend pass from his camp in Texas, and without any practice or competition the past two months, he started and won a 6-2 decision over the Dodgers.
Again obtaining weekend passes, he pitched three more times during the rest of the season and picked up three more wins to finish the season with the previously mentioned 9-0 record. It's pretty impressive to be able to come in and pitch in the major leagues on the weekend and then go back to the Guard the rest of the week.
Topps 1968 Ken Holtzman - does the scene look familiar? Ken must have missed the Topps photographer while away on duty, so they used another pose from last year's photo shoot...
The back of the card makes mention of his weekend duty.
Same picture, this time cropped a bit for the All Star card
And one more time, here on a checklist card. The same picture three times in one year must be some sort of Topps record.
Some may say his perfect season is tainted because he only made 12 starts. I would argue that his perfect season is more impressive because of his time as a weekend warrior.