Al Hrabosky

Alan Thomas Hrabosky (/rəˈbɒski/; born July 21, 1949) is a former Major League Baseball player from 1970–1982 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves and is currently the color commentator on Cardinals regular season broadcasts on FSN Midwest.

Hrabosky's nickname is The Mad Hungarian because of his unusual last name and colorful character.[1]

Al Hrabosky
AlHrabowsky1995
Pitcher
Born: July 21, 1949 (age 69)
Oakland, California
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 16, 1970, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
August 18, 1982, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record64–35
Earned run average3.10
Strikeouts548
Saves97
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Playing career

Hrabosky played at Savanna High School[2] in Anaheim, California and was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 11th round of the 1967 amateur draft, but did not sign with the club. Two years later the Cardinals made him their first round choice. Within a year, at the age of 20, he made his major league debut, pitching a scoreless inning against the San Diego Padres.

During his time with the Cardinals, Hrabosky became a fan favorite for his antics on the mound. Between each pitch he would turn his back to the batter, walk towards second base, vigorously rub the ball between his palms several times, take a deep breath, and pound the ball into his mitt. He would then storm back to the mound, staring down the batter. Although the crowd would roar in delight, most batters were not fond of the pitcher's routine.

Arguably, Hrabosky's best year was 1975 when he led the National League in saves with 22 (a career best) en route to winning the Sporting News "NL Fireman of the Year" award. After eight seasons in St. Louis, the Cardinals traded Hrabosky to the Kansas City Royals in a swap of closers for Mark Littell. Following just two years with the Royals, he was released and signed with the Atlanta Braves.

Early in his career with the Cardinals, Hrabosky enhanced his menacing appearance with long hair, and a horseshoe moustache. However, when Vern Rapp became the Cardinals manager in 1977, Hrabosky had to cut his hair and shave the moustache.

Perhaps Hrabosky's most memorable performance came during an ABC Monday Night Baseball game on May 9, 1977, against the Cincinnati Reds. In the top of the ninth with the game tied at 5–5, Hrabosky allowed the first three hitters (all left-handed), Ken Griffey, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen to reach base and load the bases. As the Redbirds home crowd roared, Hrabosky went into his "Mad Hungarian" routine described above and proceeded to strike out right-handed power hitters George Foster, Johnny Bench, and Bob Bailey. The Cardinals went on to win 6–5 on a Ted Simmons home run in the 10th inning.[3]

On December 8, 1977, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Mark Littell and Buck Martinez. The following year, he went 8–7 for the Royals while having a 2.88 ERA with 20 saves in 75 innings of work and 58 games pitched. He had 60 strikeouts and 35 walks while allowing fewer hits and runs than the year before. He appeared in three games of the ALCS that year, his first and only time pitching in the postseason. He appeared in the eighth inning of Games 1, 2, and 3, allowing a combined total of three hits and one run, although the Royals lost in four games. [4] The following year, he went 9–4 with a 3.74 ERA while having 11 saves in 65 innings. He allowed more hits and runs (67 and 31, respectively) while having 39 strikeouts and 10 walks. He was granted free agency after the season, and he subsequently signed with the Atlanta Braves.

During his time with the Braves he saw diminished playing time and recorded just seven saves over three seasons. Hrabosky's last appearance in the majors was on August 18, 1982 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium against the Montreal Expos. He pitched the final two innings of a blowout, allowing four runs on four hits with a strikeout and two home runs (hit by Andre Dawson and Tim Wallach) allowed in a 12–2 loss. [5] Twelve days later, he was released by the Braves. Hrabosky signed with the Chicago White Sox during Spring training in 1983 but retired before the season began. In 13 seasons he recorded 64 wins, 35 losses, and 97 saves with an ERA of 3.10.

Broadcasting career

AlHrbbowsky

Following his playing career, he has provided color commentary for Cardinals games since 1985 and has been with Fox Sports Midwest since 1997. Hrabosky also hosted his own radio show on KFNS 590AM in St. Louis. He also serves as an occasional fill-in analyst on the Cardinals Radio Network.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Al Hrabosky Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  2. ^ "MLB draft: A look at Orange County's alumni dream team". Retrieved August 17, 2009.
  3. ^ "Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Box Score, May 9, 1977". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "Al Hrabosky Postseason Pitching Game Logs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Montreal Expos at Atlanta Braves Box Score, August 18, 1982". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 6, 2019.

External links

1967 Major League Baseball draft

The Major League Baseball draft (or "first-year player draft") recruits amateur baseball players into the American Major League Baseball league. The players selected in 1967 included many talented prospects who later had careers in the professional league. Some selections included Bobby Grich and Don Baylor (Baltimore), Vida Blue (Kansas City Athletics), Dusty Baker and Ralph Garr (Atlanta), Ken Singleton and Jon Matlack (Mets), and Ted Simmons and Jerry Reuss (St. Louis). In the January draft, Boston selected catcher Carlton Fisk and the New York Mets drafted Ken Singleton. The Cincinnati Reds selected Chris Chambliss in the 31st round only to have him enroll in junior college. The Mets chose Dan Pastorini in the 32nd round, but Pastorini chose football and played several seasons in the NFL. Atlanta also chose Archie Manning in the 43rd round.

1972 Caribbean Series

The fifteenth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1972. It was held from February 1 through February 6 with the champions teams from Dominican Republic (Aguilas Cibaeñas), Mexico (Algodoneros de Guasave), Puerto Rico (Leones de Ponce) and Venezuela (Tigres de Aragua). The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, D.R., which boosted capacity to 14.000 seats, and the first pitch was thrown by Joaquín Balaguer, by then the President of Dominican Republic.

1973 Caribbean Series

The sixteenth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1973. It was held from February 1 through February 6 with the champions teams from Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey), Mexico (Yaquis de Obregón), Puerto Rico (Cangrejeros de Santurce) and Venezuela (Leones del Caracas). The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice, and the games were played at UCV Stadium in Caracas, Venezuela. The Series was played to honor the memory of Roberto Clemente, who died on December 31, 1972, during a humanitarian mission to assist victims of the 1972 Nicaragua earthquake.

1974 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1974 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 92nd season in franchise history. The Phillies finished in third place in the National League East with a record of 80 wins and 82 losses. They would not finish below .500 again until going 75–87 in 1985.

1975 Major League Baseball season

The 1975 Major League Baseball season saw Frank Robinson become the first black manager in the Major Leagues. He managed the Cleveland Indians.

At the All-Star Break, there were discussions of Bowie Kuhn's reappointment. Charlie Finley, New York owner George Steinbrenner and Baltimore owner Jerry Hoffberger were part of a group that wanted him gone. Finley was trying to convince the new owner of the Texas Rangers Brad Corbett that MLB needed a more dynamic commissioner. During the vote, Baltimore and New York decided to vote in favour of the commissioner's reappointment. In addition, there were discussions of expansion for 1977, with Seattle and Washington, D.C. as the proposed cities for expansion.

1975 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1975 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 93rd in the history of the franchise. The Phillies finished in second place in the National League East with a record of 86–76, 6​1⁄2 games behind the NL East champion Pittsburgh Pirates. As a result, the Phillies had their first winning season in eight years.

1976 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1976 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 94th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their first National League East title, as they compiled a record of 101–61, nine games ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates, and won 100 games or more for the first time in franchise history.

The Phillies lost the NLCS, 3–0 to the Cincinnati Reds. Danny Ozark managed the Phillies, as they played their home games at Veterans Stadium, where the All-Star Game was played that season.

1978 American League Championship Series

The 1978 American League Championship Series was held between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals for the third consecutive year.

1978 Kansas City Royals season

The 1978 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing first in the American League West with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses. The team went on to lose in the 1978 American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees, 3 games to 1.

1980 Atlanta Braves season

The 1980 Atlanta Braves season was the 15th season in Atlanta along with the 110th season as a franchise overall.

1988 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1988 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Willie Stargell.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected no one.

1988 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1988 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 107th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 97th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 76-86 during the season and finished 5th in the National League East division.

1991 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1991 season was the team's 110th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 100th season in the National League. The Cardinals rebounded from a rare last-place finish a year earlier to register a record of 84-78 during the season and finished 2nd to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League East division by fourteen games.

Ozzie Smith set the National League record for fewest errors in a season by a shortstop with 8 errors. Gold Gloves were awarded to catcher Tom Pagnozzi and shortstop Ozzie Smith this year.

1995 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1995 season was the team's 114th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 104th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 62-81 during the season and finished 4th in the National League Central division, 22½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds. It was also the team's final season under the ownership of Anheuser-Busch, who would put the team up for sale on October 25, 1995, ending a 43-season ownership reign.

Danny Godby

Danny Ray Godby (born November 4, 1946) is an American former professional baseball player who appeared in 13 games played for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball during the 1974 season. An outfielder who threw and batted right-handed, Godby stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Godby was born in Logan, West Virginia. He went to Bowling Green University, and was signed as an undrafted free agent in 1968 by the Cincinnati Reds, then traded to the Cardinals in 1971. Godby was in his seventh professional season when he was recalled by the Cardinals in August 1974 after he batted .344 in 100 games for the Triple-A Tulsa Oilers and was selected to the American Association all-star team. Godby made his MLB debut on August 10 when he was announced as a pinch hitter for Bob Forsch against left-hander Doug Rau of the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, when Rau was relieved by righty relief pitcher Mike Marshall, Godby was himself replaced by a left-handed pinch hitter, Tim McCarver. Two days later, against the San Diego Padres, Godby pinch hit for Al Hrabosky in the home half of the 13th inning and singled off Bill Laxton for his first MLB hit in his first official at bat. Godby made his way to third base on a sacrifice bunt and another single, then scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Bake McBride.The hit off Laxton was one of two Godby would collect in 13 at-bats and 17 plate appearances (along with three bases on balls and one sacrifice fly) with the Cardinals. The other, also a single, came a month later off the New York Mets' Jon Matlack. He scored two runs, with one run batted in. When his Redbird trial ended after the 1974 season, Godby played three more seasons of minor league baseball before concluding his professional career in 1977 after ten seasons. He collected 898 hits in 958 minor league games, batting .282.After his pro baseball days were over, Godby has worked as a physical education teacher at his high school alma mater, Chapmanville High School, and later at the new Chapmanville Regional High School in West Virginia.

Ike Hampton

Isaac Bernard Hampton (born August 22, 1951 in Camden, South Carolina) is a former Major League Baseball catcher. He was signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent on August 22, 1970 and played for the Mets (1974) and the California Angels (1975–1979).

Hampton made his major league debut as a pinch hitter on September 12, 1974 at Shea Stadium. Batting for first baseman John Milner in the bottom of the 9th against Al Hrabosky of the St. Louis Cardinals, he flew out to center field. During spring training of 1975, he was traded to the Angels for relief pitcher Ken Sanders.

Hampton's best year in the big leagues was 1977, when he stayed with the Angels for the entire season. In 52 games he batted .295 (13-for-44) with 3 home runs and 9 runs batted in.

Career totals include 113 games played, a .207 batting average (28-for-135), 4 HR, 18 RBI, 15 runs scored, and a .341 slugging percentage. He had a strong arm, and threw out 18 of 48 stolen base attempts. (37.5%)

He was released by California on April 1, 1980. In 1981, he played for the Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan.

Mark Littell

Mark Alan Littell (born January 17, 1953), is a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1973 to 1982 for the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. Littell had a lifetime ERA of 3.32 and saved 56 games from 1976 to 1981. Bone spurs in his elbow cut his career short, and Littell retired midway through the 1982 season at the age of 29.

Primarily a relief pitcher, Littell served at the Royals' closer in 1976–1977, and is best remembered for giving up a walk-off home run to New York Yankees first baseman Chris Chambliss to end the 1976 American League Championship Series. It was only the second home run he allowed in more than 100 innings pitched that year.

Two years later, the Royals dealt Littell, along with catcher Buck Martinez, to the Cardinals in exchange for relief pitcher Al Hrabosky.

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