Charles Louis Leibrandt, Jr. (/ˈliːbrænt/; born October 4, 1956) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1979 to 1993 for the Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers. Leibrandt was a productive pitcher throughout his 14-year career, and a member of the 1985 World Series champion Royals team.
|Born: October 4, 1956|
|September 17, 1979, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 21, 1993, for the Texas Rangers|
|Earned run average||3.71|
|Career highlights and awards|
Leibrandt was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from 1975–1978, where he earned four letters as a pitcher on the baseball team. During his senior year, Leibrandt was selected first-team All-MAC; he compiled a record of 7–2 with an ERA of 1.65.
Leibrandt was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth round of the 1978 free agent draft. He made his debut in Major League Baseball on September 17, 1979 in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. A few weeks later, he made his first post-season appearance in the 1979 National League Championship Series, recording an out of the only batter he faced, John Milner.
In 1980, Leibrandt was the Opening Day pitcher as the Reds beat the Atlanta Braves, 5–0, and Leibrandt threw a five-hit shutout for his first career win. But Leibrandt, while 10–9 in 1980, showed little promise in Cincinnati and was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Bob Tufts on June 7, 1983. The following year, Leibrandt went 11–7 with a 3.63 ERA as the Royals won the Western Division championship.
In 1985, Leibrandt had the best year of his career, going 17–9 with a 2.69 ERA as the Royals won the World Series. Over the next three years, Leibrandt won 14, 16, and 13 games, but after a disastrous 1989 when he went 5–11 on a second place (but 92-wins) team, the Royals traded Leibrandt and Rick Luecken to the Atlanta Braves for Gerald Perry and Jim Lemasters.
On May 16, 1987, Leibrandt pitched a complete game one-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers. The only hit for the Brewers was a bunt hit by backup Brewers catcher Bill Schroeder. Schroeder would go on to become the TV color commentator for the Brewers.
On the last place Braves in 1990, Leibrandt went 9–11 with a 3.16 ERA, finishing behind only John Smoltz and Tom Glavine on the Braves staff in wins. The following year, 1991, Leibrandt was a member of one of two trios in MLB history of southpaws ever to win fifteen games on the same staff, sharing that honor with Glavine and Steve Avery, also has been done by the 1997 Mariners since. Leibrandt was generally regarded as a fourth starter on the Braves in 1991 and 1992. On September 29, 1992, Leibrandt recorded the 1,000th strikeout of his career against the San Francisco Giants. In the same game, the Braves clinched the National League West title for the second straight year.
In 1993, despite six straight road wins (which no subsequent Texas Rangers pitcher matched until 2009, when it was surpassed by Scott Feldman), he ended with a season record of 9–10 record with a 4.55 ERA, and subsequently retired.
For all of his successes as a pitcher, Leibrandt is best known for a series of post-season failures and suffering hard luck. In 1984, Leibrandt and the Royals faced elimination in the best-of-five American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. Leibrandt threw a complete game three-hitter only to lose, 1–0, on a fielder's choice in the second inning.
In the following year's ALCS, the Toronto Blue Jays beat Leibrandt badly in Game 1 but he turned in an effective pitching performance in Game 4. However, he lost when, leading 1–0 in the ninth, he walked Dámaso García, who scored on Lloyd Moseby's double. Responsible for Moseby, Leibrandt watched as the Blue Jays scored twice off reliever Dan Quisenberry and got tagged with the loss. He redeemed himself, however, coming out of the bullpen to replace the injured Bret Saberhagen in Game 7 and picking up the win that sent the Royals to the World Series.
In the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Leibrandt again pitched masterfully for eight innings and entered the ninth inning of Game 2 leading a two-hitter, 2–0. It all fell apart again for Leibrandt, though, as Willie McGee doubled to right. With two outs and McGee on second, three Cardinal hits, the last by future Braves teammate Terry Pendleton, scored four runs and saddled Leibrandt with another loss. Five nights later in Game 6, Leibrandt left in the eighth inning trailing 1–0 despite only allowing four hits. However, this time it was the Royals who rallied and won the game 2–1 on a one-out bases-loaded bloop single by pinch-hitter Dane Iorg. In Game 7 the following night, Kansas City blew the Cardinals out, 11–0, to win their first of two World Series titles.
In 1991, Braves manager Bobby Cox designated Leibrandt the starter for Game 1 of the World Series against the Minnesota Twins. Leibrandt got the start by virtue of his long post-season rest and the fact he was the only Braves starter who had ever pitched in the Metrodome. Leibrandt lost as he pitched decently but was outpitched by Jack Morris. Leibrandt is best known for surrendering a walk-off home run to future Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett in Game 6 of that series. The first pitch of the inning was a change-up, which Puckett took for strike one. The next one was a similar high and outside fastball, which Puckett took for ball one; pitch three was another fastball for ball two. The fourth pitch, and last pitch of the game, was a weak, high change-up that failed to break. Puckett made solid contact and sprinted for first, as was his usual practice. Only after he saw first base coach Wayne Terwilliger throw up his hands in victory did Puckett realize he had hit a home run. Leibrandt was called upon to enter the game in a highly unfamiliar role – as a reliever late in the extra-inning game, and very late at night. Cox endured some criticism for the move because the Braves still had several relievers at their disposal including left-hander Kent Mercker and right-handers Jim Clancy and Mark Wohlers, but the move made sense on another level, because Leibrandt was the only pitcher left on their roster who had previous World Series experience, and although Leibrandt had been subpar in his Game 1 start, the three hitters scheduled to bat for the Twins in the 11th had been a combined 0 for 6 against Leibrandt in that game, including two strikeouts of Puckett.
Leibrandt again had the opportunity to play in the World Series with the Braves the following year. The Braves lost that series also, this time to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games. In the final game, in circumstances eerily similar to Game 6 of the prior year's Series, Leibrandt was called in as a reliever in an extra-inning game. Just as in 1991, Cox was criticized for using Leibrandt as a reliever with closer Jeff Reardon and relievers Marvin Freeman and David Nied still available. Toronto rallied for two runs in the top of the 11th on a hit by Dave Winfield. The Braves did manage to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the 11th; however, it was not enough and Leibrandt ended up as the losing pitcher.
Leibrandt's youngest son, Brandon, plays in Minor League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies' organization. His middle son, Brodie, was a starter at Columbus State University, in Columbus, Georgia. Leibrandt's oldest son, Ryan, is a physician in New York City.
The 1979 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West under their first-year manager John McNamara, with a record of 90-71, 1½ games better than the Houston Astros. It was a year of great change for the Reds, who lost long-time star Pete Rose to the Philadelphia Phillies, who signed Rose as an unrestricted free agent. Also, long-time manager and future Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson was fired by new general manager Dick Wagner when Anderson refused to make changes in his coaching staff. McNamara guided the Reds to its first West Division title in three years. Wagner replaced long-time GM Bob Howsam, who retired after running the Reds for 12 years. Through some good drafts and several key trades, Howsam built a team that won six division titles, and played in four World Series, winning two, during the 1970s.
However, the Reds lost the National League Championship Series to the eventual World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates in three straight games. It was the first time in four tries the Pirates had upended the Reds in a divisional playoff series since Major League Baseball went to divisions in 1969. The Reds played their home games at Riverfront Stadium.1980 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1980 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The Reds finished in third place in the National League West with a record of 89-73, 3½ games behind the Houston Astros, marking the first time since 1971 that the Reds did not finish in either first or second place. The Reds were managed by John McNamara and played their home games at Riverfront Stadium.1984 American League Championship Series
The 1984 American League Championship Series matched the East Division champion Detroit Tigers against the West Division champion Kansas City Royals. The Tigers prevailed three games to none, to advance to the 1984 World Series against the San Diego Padres.
Due to a strike by major league umpires, the series was played using local and collegiate umpires, with former AL umpire and league supervisor Bill Deegan working home plate for all three games.1984 Kansas City Royals season
The 1984 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 1st in the American League West with a record of 84 wins and 78 losses. However, they would lose to the Detroit Tigers in 3 Games in the ALCS. The Tigers would go on to the World Series and defeat the San Diego Padres in 5 Games.1985 American League Championship Series
The 1985 American League Championship Series was played between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays from October 8 to 16. Major League Baseball decided to extend the Championship Series in both leagues from its best-of-five (1969–1984) to the current best-of-seven format starting with this year, and it proved pivotal in the outcome of the ALCS. The Blue Jays seemingly put a stranglehold on the Series, earning a three games to one lead over the Royals after four games. However, Kansas City staged an improbable comeback, winning the next three games to win the American League Championship Series four games to three. The Royals would proceed to defeat their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the World Series four games to three.
The oddsmakers favored Toronto, 8–5. During the opening pregame show, NBC Sports baseball analyst Tony Kubek was among the few who predicted a Kansas City victory, citing the Blue Jays' struggles against left-handed pitching, and the Royals' plethora of left-handed starters. This prediction was especially curious considering Kubek worked on Blue Jays television broadcasts during the regular season.1985 Kansas City Royals season
The 1985 Kansas City Royals season ended with the Royals' first world championship win over their intrastate rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Royals won the Western Division of the American League for the second consecutive season and the sixth time in ten years. The team improved its record to 91–71 on the strength of its pitching, led by Bret Saberhagen's Cy Young Award-winning performance.
In the playoffs, the Royals went on to win the American League Championship Series for just the second time and the World Series for the first time (they previously lost the 1980 World Series). Both the ALCS and the World Series were won in seven games after the Royals lost the first two games at home and three of the first four games overall. The championship series against the Cardinals was forever remembered in St. Louis by umpires' supposedly blown calls in Game Six: one that cost the Royals a run in the 4th, and a blown call by umpire Don Denkinger that allowed Jorge Orta to reach first. The World Series is remembered in Kansas City as the culmination of ten years of dominance by the Royals, during which they reached the playoffs seven times, with stars such as George Brett, Hal McRae and Willie Wilson.
The team was managed by Dick Howser in his fourth and final full season with the Royals.
The Royals did not return to the postseason until 2014 and won the World Series again in 2015.1985 World Series
The 1985 World Series began on October 19 and ended on October 27. The American League champions Kansas City Royals played the National League champions St. Louis Cardinals, with the Royals upsetting the heavily favored Cardinals in seven games. The Series was popularly known as the "Show-Me Series" or the "I-70 Showdown Series," as both cities are in the state of Missouri and are connected by Interstate 70.
The Cardinals won the National League East division by three games over the New York Mets, then defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to two in the National League Championship Series. The Royals won the American League West division by one game over the California Angels, then defeated the Toronto Blue Jays four games to three in the American League Championship Series.
The Cardinals were seeking to win their NL-leading 10th World Series title, while the Royals were seeking their first World Series title. The Royals were completing one of the most successful decades by any expansion team, with six division titles and two pennants from 1976 to 1985. This was the first World Series in which all games were played at night. Also, this was the first World Series to feature television commentator Tim McCarver, who called the games for ABC with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer. (Howard Cosell was originally scheduled to be in the booth with Michaels and Palmer, but was removed from his assignment just prior to Game 1 because of the controversy surrounding his book I Never Played the Game.) McCarver would go on to call a record 24 World Series telecasts for various networks.
This was the second Missouri-only World Series, with the first being the 1944 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns (the Browns later moving and becoming the Baltimore Orioles). The 1985 World Series marked the 5th time in World Series history that a team came back from a three games to one deficit to win a championship. Bret Saberhagen's victories in Games 3 and 7, with him allowing only a single run on both starts, earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player award.
This was the last World Series in which the designated hitter was not used in an American League baseball park. From 1976 to 1985, in even-numbered years, the DH would be used in all games. In odd-numbered years, like this World Series, the pitchers from both were required to bat for themselves throughout the series. Beginning with the next World Series, the DH rule would be used only in games played at the American League representative's park. The Royals became World Series champions for the first time in their history; they would return to the Series in 2014, in which they played the 2014 World Series against the San Francisco Giants but lost in seven games. A year later in the 2015 World Series, the Royals would win their 2nd title against the New York Mets.
AL Kansas City Royals (4) vs. NL St. Louis Cardinals (3)1987 Oakland Athletics season
The Oakland Athletics' 1987 season involved the A's finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 81 wins and 81 losses. Mark McGwire set a rookie record by hitting 49 home runs. At the beginning of the season, the word "Athletics" returned, in script lettering, to the front of the team's jerseys. Former A's owner, Charles O. Finley banned the word "Athletics" from the club's name in the past because he felt that name was too closely associated with former Philadelphia Athletics owner Connie Mack. In his first full Major League season, Mark McGwire hit 49 home runs, a single-season record for a rookie; he was named the American League Rookie of the Year. McGwire would be the first American League rookie since Al Rosen of the Cleveland Indians in 1950 to lead the American League in home runs. The 1987 season also saw the return of Reggie Jackson to Oakland.1988 Kansas City Royals season
The 1988 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 84 wins and 77 losses.1989 Kansas City Royals season
The 1989 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing second in the American League West with a record of 92 wins and 70 losses. The Royals' record was tied for the third best in baseball, but in the pre-wild card era, the team did not qualify for the post-season.1990 Atlanta Braves season
The 1990 Atlanta Braves season was the team's 25th season in Atlanta, the 115th in franchise history as a member of the National League and the 120th season overall. The Braves went 65–97, en route to their sixth-place finish in the NL West, 26 games behind the World Champion Cincinnati Reds, and ending up with the worst record that year. On June 23, Bobby Cox replaced Russ Nixon as the team's manager, a job Cox would hold for the next two decades.1990 Kansas City Royals season
The 1990 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 6th in the American League West with a record of 75 wins and 86 losses.1991 Atlanta Braves season
The 1991 Atlanta Braves season was the 26th in Atlanta and the 121st overall. They became the first team in the National League to go from last place one year to first place the next. This feat was also accomplished by the 1991 Minnesota Twins. The last Major League Baseball team to accomplish this was the 1890 Louisville Colonels of the American Association.
The Braves had a last place finish in 1990 but managed to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West clinching the division on the next to the last day of the regular season.1992 Atlanta Braves season
The 1992 Atlanta Braves season was the 27th in Atlanta and the 122nd overall. It involved the Braves finishing first in the National League West with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses, clinching their second straight division title.
In the National League Championship Series, the Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games. In the World Series, Atlanta faced the Toronto Blue Jays, who were making their first appearance in the World Series. However, the Blue Jays won in six games, becoming the first non-U.S.-based team to win a World Series.Bill Schroeder (baseball)
Bill "A Rock" Schroeder (born Alfred A William Schroeder on September 7, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball player and a current television sports broadcaster. He currently provides color commentary for the Milwaukee Brewers, for whom he played six of his eight Major League seasons.Circle changeup
In baseball, a circle changeup is a pitch thrown with a grip that includes a circle formation, hence the name circle changeup. The circle is formed by making a circle with the index finger, holding the thumb at the bottom of the ball parallel to the middle finger and holding the ball far out in the hand. The ball is thrown turning the palm out (pronating the forearm).Eugene Emeralds
The Eugene Emeralds (nicknamed the Ems) are a minor league baseball team in the northwest United States, based in Eugene, Oregon. Members of the Northwest League, they are currently the Class A short-season affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. From 2001 through 2014, the team was affiliated with the San Diego Padres.Joe Beckwith
Thomas Joseph Beckwith (born January 28, 1955) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher.Rick Luecken
Richard Fred Luecken (born November 15, 1960) is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays.
Luecken was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 27th round of the 1983 MLB Draft out of Texas A&M University. He pitched four seasons in the Mariners Minor League system before being traded along with Danny Tartabull to Kansas City in exchange for Scott Bankhead, Mike Kingery and Steve Shields.
In 1989, Luecken posted a 2-1 record with one save and a 3.42 earned run average in 19 relief appearances with the Royals.
Before the 1990 season, Luecken was traded along with Charlie Leibrandt to Atlanta for Gerald Perry and one minor leaguer. He went 1-4 with a 5.77 ERA in 36 games and was traded by the Braves late in the year to Toronto.