Bob Forsch

Robert Herbert Forsch (January 13, 1950 – November 3, 2011) was an American right-handed starting pitcher who spent most of his sixteen years in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the St. Louis Cardinals (1974–1988) before finishing his playing career with the Houston Astros (1988–1989). He was a member of the 1982 World Series Champions and National League (NL) pennant winners in 1985 and 1987.

A twenty-game winner in 1977, he is third amongst all Cardinals pitcher in victories with 163. He is also the only player in team history to pitch more than one no-hitter, achieving it twice in 1978 and 1983. He and Ken Forsch are the only brothers to have each performed the feat in the majors.[1]

Bob Forsch
Bobforsch1995
Forsch in 1983
Pitcher
Born: January 13, 1950
Sacramento, California
Died: November 3, 2011 (aged 61)
Weeki Wachee, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 7, 1974, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1989, for the Houston Astros
MLB statistics
Win–loss record168–136
Earned run average3.76
Strikeouts1,133
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Forsch graduated from Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento, California, and attended Sacramento City College. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 26th round of the 1968 Major League Baseball draft as a third baseman, eight rounds after his brother was selected by the Houston Astros. His batting records as an infielder-outfielder were .224 for the Sarasota Cards in 1968, .203 for Lewiston in 1969, .235 for Modesto also in 1969, .149 for Modesto in 1970, .133 for Lewiston also in 1970, and .088 for Cedar Rapids also in 1970.[2] He compiled a .223 batting average with four home runs before he was converted to a pitcher with the Cards' low A affiliate, the Lewiston Broncs, in 1970. Forsch went 41-37 with a 3.96 earned run average over four and a half seasons pitching in their farm system.

Career

Forsch was called up to St. Louis midway through the 1974 season. Making his major league debut in the first game of a doubleheader at Riverfront Stadium, he lost a pitchers' duel with Tom Carroll and the Cincinnati Reds.[3] He shut out the Atlanta Braves in his second start to earn his first major league victory,[4] but perhaps his most memorable pitching performance of the season came on September 30 against the Montreal Expos. In the second to last game of the Cardinals' season, needing a win to remain tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates atop the National League East, Forsch carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He ended up with a complete game three-hitter for his fourth consecutive win.[5]

Forsch was a twenty-game winner in 1977. He pitched his first career no-hitter on April 16, 1978 against the Philadelphia Phillies[6] with the help of a questionable ruling by official scorer Neal Russo of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on a Ken Reitz error off the bat of Garry Maddox.[7] Regardless, his record stood at 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA following the game, however, things began to unravel for Forsch shortly afterwards. After a May 11 three hit shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers improved his record to 6-2,[8] Forsch went 5-15 with a 4.07 ERA the rest of the way to end the season at 11-17.

After nine seasons in the majors, Forsch made it to the postseason for the first time in his career in 1982. He also earned his first career save on May 15 against the Atlanta Braves.[9] He got the game one start in the 1982 National League Championship Series, and held the Atlanta Braves to three hits while striking out six.[10] He also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. He lost both of his World Series starts against the Milwaukee Brewers, however, the Cardinals still won the series in seven games.[11]

After going 15-9 with a 3.48 ERA in 1982, his record fell to 10-12 with a 4.28 ERA the following season as the defending World Champions dipped to 79-83 and fourth place in the NL East. One of the few bright spots for his club came on September 26, 1983, when Forsch pitched his second career no-hitter, this time against the Montreal Expos.[12] He became, at the time, just the 25th pitcher to throw more than one career no-hitter, and the only Cardinals pitcher to accomplish the feat.[13] His career nearly came to an end when he required back surgery during the 1984 season to relieve pressure on a nerve on his lower back, however, after sitting out three months, he was able to return to the mound.[14]

Forsch's final win of the 1985 season was a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on October 4 to clinch a first place tie with the New York Mets, as they and the Mets battled for first place in the NL East all season. The Cards ended up winning the division by three games, and defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1985 National League Championship Series. With the Kansas City Royals representing the American League in the World Series, 1985 was the first time two teams from the same state faced off in a World Series since 1974, and the first time two teams from Missouri faced each other since the 1944 World Series. The Royals beat the Cardinals in seven games for the franchise's first World Series title.[15] Forsch went 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA in his second postseason.

Forsch made headlines during the 1987 National League Championship Series, which pitted the Cards against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants led the series after Game 2, owing in part to the batting prowess of outfielder Jeffrey Leonard, who scored nine runs and five RBIs during the series. The Cardinal fans were enraged with Leonard's "one-flap down" routine of running the bases, and his "Cadillac" home run trot. While pitching to Leonard in the fifth inning, Forsch famously hit Leonard in the back with a fastball. This created a stir in the St. Louis press, which began calling Leonard "both flaps down". Forsch unconvincingly commented, "Just trying to come inside"[16]

Forsch was 9-4 with a 3.73 ERA in 1988 when he was traded just before the waiver trade deadline to the Houston Astros, who were making a playoff push in the National League West.[17] Forsch pitched poorly for the Astros, going 1-4 with a 6.51 ERA. Forsch re-signed with the Astros for 1989, and went 4-5 with a 5.32 ERA splitting his time as a starter and relief pitcher in his final season before retiring.

Career stats

W L PCT ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H ER R HR BB K WP HBP Fld% BA RBI
168 136 .553 3.76 498 422 67 19 3 2,794.2 2,777 1,169 1,319 216 832 1,133 93 45 .973 .213 84

Forsch was one of the better hitting pitchers of his era. He hit twelve career home runs, batted .308 (24-for-78) in 1975, won the inaugural Silver Slugger Award for NL pitchers in 1980 and a second Silver Slugger award in 1987. Forsch's no-hitters were the only two ever thrown at Busch Memorial Stadium.[18] His 163 career wins with the Cardinals is the franchise's third highest total.

Death

Forsch was a Minor League pitching coach for the Reds' Rookie League affiliate, the Billings Mustangs from 2009 until his death. He also wrote a book titled Bob Forsch's Tales from the Cardinals Dugout, with Tom Wheatley.[19]

Forsch died suddenly from a thoracic aortic aneurysm on November 3, 2011.[20] Less than a week before his death, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before game seven of the 2011 World Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.[21][22]

See also

Preceded by
Bert Blyleven
Dave Righetti
No-hitter pitcher
April 16, 1978
September 26, 1983
Succeeded by
Tom Seaver
Mike Warren
Preceded by

Rick Rhoden
NL Silver Slugger Award pitcher
1980
1987
Succeeded by
Fernando Valenzuela
Tim Leary

References

  1. ^ Pietrusza, David (2000). Baseball : the biographical encyclopedia. Kingston, NY [u.a.]: Total/Sports Illustrated. p. 370. ISBN 1892129345.
  2. ^ Norman MacLean, ed. (1986). 1986 Who's Who in Baseball. New York: Who's Who in Baseball Magazine Company, Inc.
  3. ^ "Cincinnati Reds 2, St. Louis Cardinals 1". Baseball-Reference.com. July 7, 1974.
  4. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 10, Atlanta Braves 0". Baseball-Reference.com. July 12, 1974.
  5. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 5, Montreal Expos 1". Baseball-Reference.com. September 30, 1974.
  6. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 5, Philadelphia Phillies 0". Baseball-Reference.com. April 16, 1978.
  7. ^ "Error Call Thrills Forsch, Amazes Phillies". The Miami News. April 17, 1978.
  8. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 0". Baseball-Reference.com. May 11, 1978.
  9. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 7, Atlanta Braves 6". Baseball-Reference.com. May 15, 1982.
  10. ^ "1982 National League Championship Series, Game One". Baseball-Reference.com. October 7, 1982.
  11. ^ "1982 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com. October 12–20, 1982.
  12. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 3, Montreal Expos 0". Baseball-Reference.com. September 26, 1983.
  13. ^ "Cardinals' Forsch Fires Second No-hitter". The Milwaukee Sentinel. September 27, 1983.
  14. ^ "Bob Forsch Hurls First Shutout in 2 Years; Cards Hold on to Lead". The Evening Independent. September 19, 1985.
  15. ^ "1985 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com. October 19–27, 1985.
  16. ^ Hummel, Rick (5 November 2011), Forsch was 'icon in Cards' history', stltoday.com, retrieved 14 November 2011
  17. ^ "Tigers Land Lynn, Power". The Pittsburgh Press. September 1, 1988.
  18. ^ Goold, Derrick. "How Close Cardinals Have Come to Perfection" Archived 2010-05-12 at the Wayback Machine. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 10, 2010.
  19. ^ Bob Forsch & Tom Wheatley (April 10, 2003). "Bob Forsch's Tales from the Cardinals Dugout". Sports Publishing LLC.
  20. ^ Cardinals pitcher Forsch dies at age 61, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Nov. 4, 2011)
  21. ^ Former Cardinals star Bob Forsch dies FOX Sports
  22. ^ Bob Forsch, author of two no-hitters, dies at 61 MLB.com

External links

1968 Major League Baseball draft

The 1968 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft took place prior to the 1968 MLB season. The draft saw the New York Mets take shortstop Tim Foli first overall.

1978 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1978 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 96th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their third straight National League East title with a record of 90-72, a game and a half over the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the Phillies defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh on the next to last day of the season. For the third consecutive season the Phillies came up short in the NLCS, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated them three games to one, as they had the previous season. The Phillies were managed by Danny Ozark and played their home games at Veterans Stadium.

1978 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1978 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 97th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 87th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 69-93 during the season and finished fifth in the National League East, 21 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies.

1980 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1980 season was the team's 99th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 89th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 74-88 during the season and finished fourth in the National League East, 17 games behind the eventual NL pennant and World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.

The Cardinals played the season under four different managers, Ken Boyer (fired June 8 between games of a double-header against the Expos in Montreal), Jack Krol (the second game of the double-header that same day), Whitey Herzog (June 9 until he was hired as the team's general manager in late August, succeeding John Claiborne, who was fired earlier in August) and Red Schoendienst (from late August to end of season). After the season, Herzog reclaimed the managerial job.

This team set a record for the most Silver Slugger Award winners in one season: Keith Hernández (first base), Garry Templeton (shortstop), George Hendrick (outfielder), Ted Simmons (catcher), and Bob Forsch (pitcher). Hernández also won a Gold Glove.

1981 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1981 season was the team's 100th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 90th season in the National League. 1981 was a season of two significant anomalies: A change in the playoff format, which created the first-ever Divisional Series with a qualification variant that existed only for that season, and the players' strike, which truncated the regular season. Despite finishing 59-43, good for the best overall record in the National League East, the strike set up the scenario where the Cardinals actually missed the playoffs. The regular season was split into halves to tally teams' records separately in each half of the season, and because the Cardinals finished in second place in each half, they did not qualify for the 1981 playoffs. Major League Baseball reverted to the previous playoff format the following season, and the Cardinals qualified for that postseason.

First baseman Keith Hernandez won a Gold Glove this year.

1982 National League Championship Series

The 1982 National League Championship Series was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves from October 6 to 10.

1982 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals' 1982 season was the team's 101st season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 91st season in the National League. Making up for the previous season's near-miss, the Cardinals went 92—70 during the season and won their first-ever National League East Division title by three games over the Philadelphia Phillies. They achieved their first postseason appearance since 1968 and defeated the National League West champion Atlanta Braves in three straight games to claim the NL pennant. From there, they went on to win the World Series in seven games over the American League champion Milwaukee Brewers. It was the Cardinals' first World Championship since 1967, and their last until they opened the current Busch Stadium in 2006.

1983 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1983 season was a season in American baseball. It was the team's 102nd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 92nd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 79-83 during the season and finished 4th in the National League East, eleven games behind the NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies. They were the first team in the Divisional play era to have a losing season one year after winning the World Series.

First baseman Keith Hernandez, shortstop Ozzie Smith, and outfielder Willie McGee won Gold Gloves this year, although Hernandez was traded to the New York Mets in mid-season.

1985 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals' 1985 season was the team's 104th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 94th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 101-61 during the season and finished in first place in the National League East division by three games over the New York Mets. After defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the NLCS, they lost in seven games in the World Series to their cross-state rivals, the Kansas City Royals in the I-70 Series. The World Series is known for the infamous "safe" call on the Royals' Jorge Orta by umpire Don Denkinger.

The Cardinals switched back to their traditional gray road uniforms for the first time in ten seasons.

Outfielder Willie McGee won the National League MVP Award this year, batting .353 with 10 home runs and 82 RBIs. Outfielder Vince Coleman won the National League Rookie of the Year Award this year, batting .267 with 107 runs scored and 110 stolen bases. Shortstop Ozzie Smith and McGee both won Gold Gloves this year.

During the 1985 playoffs, the Cardinals used the slogan The Heat Is On, in reference to the song that was released earlier that year.

1987 National League Championship Series

The 1987 National League Championship Series took place between October 6 and 14 at Busch Memorial Stadium (Games 1, 2, 6, and 7) and Candlestick Park (Games 3, 4, and 5). It matched the East division champion St. Louis Cardinals (95–67) against the West division champion San Francisco Giants (90–72), with the Cardinals winning in seven games. The Cardinals would go on to lose the 1987 World Series to the Minnesota Twins, also in seven games.

San Francisco's Jeffrey Leonard was named the Series MVP despite the fact that his Giants lost the series. Oddly enough, this was the second consecutive year that the NLCS MVP came from the losing team, as Mike Scott had won the award with the Houston Astros the previous year. However, to date, Leonard is the last MVP of any postseason series (League Championship Series or World Series) to have played for the losing team. There is no MVP awarded for the wildcard round or division series.

1987 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1987 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 106th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 96th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 95-67 during the season and finished first in the National League East Division for the third and last time before moving to the NL Central in 1994. They went on to win the NLCS in seven games over the San Francisco Giants. In the World Series against the Minnesota Twins, after having fallen behind 2-0 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, they won their next three games at home. However, back at the Metrodome, they lost the last two and fell one game short of a World Series title. It would be the Cardinals' last World Series appearance until 2004.

1988 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 1988 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West.

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.

1989 Houston Astros season

The Houston Astros' 1989 season in American baseball involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West. The season was best remembered for the Astros winning 16 of 17 games in late May through mid June.

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 and bear wrestling instructor at his high school alma mater, Chapmanville High School, and later at the new Chapmanville Regional High School in West Virginia.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at pitcher

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include the designated hitter, who replaces the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead. Mike Hampton has won the most Silver Sluggers as a pitcher, earning five consecutive awards with four different teams from 1999 to 2003. Tom Glavine is a four-time winner (1991, 1995–1996, 1998) with the Atlanta Braves. Rick Rhoden (1984–1986), Don Robinson (1982, 1989–1990), and Carlos Zambrano (2006, 2008–2009) each own three Silver Sluggers. Two-time winners include the inaugural winner, Bob Forsch (1980, 1987),, Fernando Valenzuela (1981, 1983), who won the Cy Young Award, the Rookie of the Year Award, and the Silver Slugger in his first full major league season., and Madison Bumgarner (2014–2015). The most recent winner is Germán Márquez.

Hampton has hit the most home runs in a pitcher's Silver Slugger-winning season, with seven in 2001. He is tied with Robinson as the leader in runs batted in, with 16 (Hampton, 2001; Robinson, 1982). Zack Greinke leads all Silver Slugger-winning pitchers in on-base percentage with a .409 clip set in 2013. Orel Hershiser leads winning pitchers in batting average, with the .356 mark he set in 1993. Micah Owings is the slugging percentage leader among winners (.683 in 2007).

List of St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day starting pitchers

The St. Louis Cardinals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri. They play in the National League Central division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. As of 2008, The Cardinals have used 71 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 128 seasons. Since the franchise's beginning in 1882, the starters have a combined Opening Day record of 70 wins, 57 losses (70–57), and 22 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game. Although in modern baseball, ties are rare due to extra innings.

Bob Gibson holds the Cardinals record for most Opening Day starts with ten.

List of St. Louis Cardinals team records

The St. Louis Cardinals, a professional baseball franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri, compete in the National League (NL) of Major League Baseball (MLB). in 1892. Before joining the NL, they were also a charter member of the American Association (AA) from 1882 to 1891. Although St. Louis has been the Cardinals' home city for the franchise's entire existence, they were also known as the Brown Stockings, Browns, and Perfectos.

In 134 seasons, the franchise has won more than 10,000 regular season games and appeared in 27 postseasons while claiming 12 interleague championships, tying one other, and 23 league pennants. 11 of the interleague championships are World Series titles won under the modern format since 1903; the other championship and tie occurred in 1885–1886. 19 of the league pennants are NL pennants, and the other four are AA pennants. Their 11 World Series titles represent the most in the NL and are second in MLB only to the New York Yankees' 27.

Notable players have defined, in part, the Cardinals' success and history. Stan Musial owns the most career batting records with 22. Rogers Hornsby owns the most single-season records with 11. Bob Gibson owns the most career pitching records with 18. Silver King owns the most single-season pitching records with nine.

Tom Carroll (pitcher)

Thomas Michael Carroll (born November 5, 1952) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds selected Carroll in the sixth round of the June 1970 Major League Baseball draft out of North Allegheny High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at age 17. At 18, Carroll went 18–5 with a 2.39 earned run average and 148 strikeouts with the Florida State League's Tampa Tarpons. He was also a part-time student studying political science and foreign affairs at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Carroll tossed a no-hitter to improve his career minor league record to 51–33 with a 3.38 ERA when he received his first call to the majors. He made his major league debut on July 7, 1974 at Riverfront Stadium. Facing Bob Forsch (who was also making his major league debut) in the first game of a doubleheader with the St. Louis Cardinals, he held the Cardinals to just two hits over seven innings while striking out six. Following an August 11 victory over the New York Mets, Carroll's record stood at 4–0. However, he lost his final three decisions of the year, and ended the season 4–3 with a 3.68 ERA.

He began the 1975 season with the AAA Indianapolis Indians, but got a call to the majors when Reds starter Don Gullett fractured his left thumb. He made the most of this opportunity, going 4–1 with a 4.98 ERA in place of Gullett. Though he did not participate in the Big Red Machine's 1975 World Series victory over the Boston Red Sox, he was voted a three-quarter share by his teammates.He spent all of the 1976 season with Indianapolis, going 9–15 with a 5.38 ERA. Following the season, the Reds traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jim Sadowski. He was then taken from the Pirates in the 1976 Rule V draft by the Montreal Expos. He remained in Montreal's farm system until arm problems ended his career in 1977. He attempted a comeback with the independent Alexandria Dukes of the Carolina League in 1980, but was unsuccessful.

Carroll is currently a chief analyst with the Center for Integrated Intelligence Systems at the MITRE Corporation.

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