Roki Sasaki generated plenty of attention at the beginning of the 2022 season when he nearly fired two consecutive perfect games. As it turns out, he would have been the second professional pitcher with two perfect games to their credit, matching All-American Girls Professional Baseball League legend Jean Faut.
Unfortunately, Faut’s exploits on the diamond have faded into the past. That may change due to tragic circumstances as she passed away on Tuesday at 97 years old.
Jean Faut had impressive baseball career
Faut was a bit of a rarity for the AAGPBL as she did not have any playing experience playing softball before her tryout in 1946. She had thrown batting practice for a high school game and would occasionally pitch in exhibitions for a hometown semi-pro team, but that was the extent of her experience. Instead, she had been a track and field, basketball, and field hockey star in high school.
That relative lack of experience did not stop Faut from becoming one of the best pitchers in AAGPBL history. She was a four time All Star and won two Player of the Year awards. Faut won the pitching Triple Crown twice, led the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA three times each, and was a three time 20 game winner. She also fired four no hitters, including two perfect games, becoming the only pitcher in professional baseball history to reach that mark.
It should not be a surprise that Faut also put together an impressive career statistically. She posted a 140-64 record with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.94 WHiP over her 1780 innings, striking out 913 batters with 589 walks. While she is part of the permanent display to honor the AAGPBL at the Hall of Fame, one could easily argue that she deserves her own piece of immortality.
Eventually, Faut became fed up with tensions between her and the other players on the South Bend Blue Sox. Not only was she hte best player on the team, but she was also married to a manager that most of her teammates disliked. She retired after the 1953 season, with the league folding just a year later. Faut stayed active once her baseball days were over, becoming a competitive bowler and eventually taking up golf.
AAGPBL legend Jean Faut passed away at 97 years old on Tuesday. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this time.