Claude Osteen

Claude Wilson Osteen (born August 9, 1939), nicknamed "Gomer" because of his resemblance to television character Gomer Pyle, is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched for six different teams: the Cincinnati Redlegs/Reds (1957–61), Washington Senators (1961–64), Los Angeles Dodgers (1965–73), Houston Astros (1974), St. Louis Cardinals (1974), and Chicago White Sox (1975).

Claude Osteen
Claude Osteen 1961
Osteen in 1961
Born: August 9, 1939 (age 80)
Caney Spring, Tennessee
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 6, 1957, for the Cincinnati Redlegs
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1975, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Win–loss record196–195
Earned run average3.30
Career highlights and awards

Career overview

The most significant portion of his career was with the Dodgers. A "bonus baby" who never really received a season-long chance to start in Cincinnati, Osteen was traded on Sept. 16, 1961, from Cincinnati to the Washington Senators for pitcher Dave Sisler. With the Senators, Osteen finally got a chance to start regularly in the majors, albeit with a consistently sub .500 team. In the winter of 1964, Osteen was traded from the Senators to the Dodgers in a 7-player deal, with four players (two of whom were Frank Howard and Pete Richert) going to the Senators. Osteen developed into one of the game's better starters in Los Angeles.

After two years with an earned run average under 3.00, Osteen was considered a top starter and a workhorse. In those two years, Osteen and the Dodgers reached two straight World Series, the last two Osteen would reach in his career. In the 1965 World Series, the Dodgers would beat the Minnesota Twins in seven games, and Osteen pitched brilliantly. He had a 0.64 ERA in the Series with a 1-1 record including a shutout, which came after teammates Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax lost their respective games, the first two games of the Series. In the 1966 World Series, the Dodgers would lose to the Baltimore Orioles in four games. Osteen lost a 1-0 pitcher's duel with Wally Bunker in Game 3 despite giving up only three hits in seven innings; a home run by Paul Blair accounted for the game's only run. Osteen's final postseason statistics include a 0.86 ERA with seven strikeouts in 21 innings pitched.

In 1967, he reached his first All-Star game, going 17-17 with a 3.22 ERA in 288⅓ innings pitched. He also picked up 14 complete games on the year, with five shutouts. In 1968 Osteen was one of the game's consistent hard-luck losers. Despite a very respectable 3.08 ERA, he only won 12 of 30 decisions. The 12 victories would be his fewest in a season from 1964–1973; the 18 losses tied him with Ray Sadecki for the major league lead. In 1969, Osteen won 20 games for the first time and set a number of career highs:

  • 20 wins
  • 321 innings
  • 183 strikeouts
  • 7 shutouts
  • 16 complete games
  • 41 starts

In the 1970s, Osteen was still pitching an average of 260 innings a year. In the 1970 all-star game, Osteen pitched three shutout innings and got the win in a game most remembered for the play in which Pete Rose barreled into Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 12th inning. Coincidentally, like Osteen, the pitcher and hitter involved in the walk-off single were also Tennessee natives: Jim Hickman (a Dodger teammate of Osteen's in 1967) collected the hit off losing pitcher Clyde Wright (coincidentally, Hickman and Wright would become Comeback Players of the Year in their respective leagues).

Claude Osteen 1959
Osteen, circa 1959

In 1972, Osteen had a particularly strong year, finishing with 7 complete game victories in his last 9 starts. That year, he was 20-11 with a 2.64 ERA in 252 innings pitched.

He made his 3rd and final All-Star team in 1973, in his last real quality season, and his last season with the Dodgers. That year, he went 16-11 and had a 3.31 ERA with a 2nd-place Dodger team. In his 33 starts on the season, he had 12 complete games and 3 shutouts. He had won in double figures each year from 1964–1973.

Prior to the 1974 season, the Dodgers traded Osteen to the Houston Astros for outfielder Jimmy Wynn. Wynn helped the Dodgers win the 1974 N.L. pennant.

Osteen played his final game on September 27, 1975 with the White Sox. He was released by them on April 5 of the next year.

During an 18-year baseball career, Osteen compiled 196 wins, 1,612 strikeouts, and a 3.30 earned run average.

As a batter, Osteen had a .188 batting average with 8 home runs and 76 runs batted in. He was used as pinch hitter on a number of occasions.

He later became a pitching coach for the Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and the Dodgers as well as various minor league teams.


  • 3-time All-Star (1967, 70, 73)
  • Top 10 in the league in games started, 10 times (1964,'65,'66,'67,'68,'69,'70,'71,'72,'75)
  • 2nd in the league in shutouts 3 times (1967,'69,'70), top 10 in the league 3 more times (1971,'72,'73)
  • Top 10 in the league in innings pitched, 6 times (1964,'65,'67,'69,'70,'72)
  • Top 10 in ERA, 3 times (1965,'66,'72)
  • Ranks #75 in all-time innings pitched (3460⅓) [1]
  • Ranks #44 (tie) in all-time shutouts (40) [2]
  • Ranks #50 in all-time games started (488) [3]

See also

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by

Don Rudolph
Washington Senators Opening Day
Starting pitcher

Succeeded by

Phil Ortega
Preceded by

Don Drysdale
Bob Miller
Don Drysdale
Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day
Starting pitcher

Succeeded by

Bob Miller
Don Drysdale
Bill Singer
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bob Milliken
St. Louis Cardinals Pitching Coach
Succeeded by
Hub Kittle
Preceded by
Herm Starrette
Philadelphia Phillies Pitching Coach
Succeeded by
Darold Knowles
Preceded by
Tom House
Texas Rangers Pitching Coach
Succeeded by
Dick Bosman
Preceded by
Charlie Hough
Los Angeles Dodgers Pitching Coach
Succeeded by
Dave Wallace
1964 Washington Senators season

The 1964 Washington Senators season involved the Senators finishing 9th in the American League with a record of 62 wins and 100 losses.

1965 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the regular-season with a 97–65 record, which earned them the NL pennant by two games over their arch-rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series in seven games over the Minnesota Twins.

1965 World Series

The 1965 World Series featured the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the American League champion Minnesota Twins. It is best remembered for the heroics of Sandy Koufax, who was named the series MVP. Koufax did not pitch in Game 1, as it fell on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, but pitched in Game 2 and then tossed shutouts in Games 5 and 7 (with only two days of rest in between) to win the championship.

The Twins had won their first pennant since 1933 when the team was known as the Washington Senators. The Dodgers, prevailing in seven games, captured their second title in three years, and their third since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.

1966 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League championship with a 95–67 record (1½ games over the San Francisco Giants), but were swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

1967 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1967 Los Angeles Dodgers season marked the end of the franchise's most successful era on the ballpark. One season after losing the World Series to the Baltimore Orioles, the Dodgers declined to a record of 73–89, and finished ahead of only the Houston Astros and the New York Mets in the National League race, 28½ games behind the NL and World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. It was the Dodgers' worst record since the war-affected 1944 season, and their worst peacetime record since 1937. The Dodgers would not return to the postseason until 1974.

1967 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1967 Philadelphia Phillies season consisted of the Phillies' 82–80 finish, good for fifth place in the National League, 19½ games behind the NL and World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Phillies would not finish above .500 again until 1975.

1970 Los Angeles Dodgers season

In 1970, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley stepped down as team president, turning the reins over to his son Peter, while remaining as the team's chairman. The Dodgers remained competitive, finishing the season in second place, 14½ games behind the NL Champion Cincinnati Reds in the National League West.

1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 41st midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on the evening of July 14, 1970, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League, and resulted in a 5–4 victory for the NL.This was the first MLB All-Star Game ever played at night, coinciding with prime time in the Eastern United States. (The previous year's All-Star Game was originally scheduled to be played at night, but it was rained out and played the following afternoon.) Every All-Star Game since 1970 has been played at night.

Riverfront Stadium had barely been open two weeks when it hosted its first All-Star Game. The game was hosted by the Cincinnati Reds twice before (1938 and 1953) when their home park was Crosley Field. The Reds would host one more All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium in 1988. So close was the opening of the stadium and the scheduled exhibition game, that Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn did not confirm that the game would "definitely" be played in Cincinnati until June 1. Atlanta was the alternative site.Undeniably, the most remembered moment of the game was the final run, scored in the bottom of the twelfth by Pete Rose. The ball was relayed to the American League catcher, Ray Fosse, in time to tag Rose out, but the tenacious Rose bowled Fosse over. Both players were injured, Fosse enough to drop the ball, giving Rose credit for the game-winning run.

1973 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1973 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season in second place in the Western Division of the National League with a record of 95-66.

1974 Houston Astros season

The 1974 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League West with a record of 81–81, 21 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1974 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1974 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 93rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 83rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 86–75 during the season and finished second in the National League East, a game and-a-half behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1975 Chicago White Sox season

The 1975 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 75th season in Major League Baseball, and its 76th season overall. They finished with a record 75–86, good enough for fifth place in the American League West, 22½ games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.

Dan Larson

Daniel James Larson is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Larson pitched in all or part of seven seasons from 1976 and 1982.

Larson was drafted in the first round of the 1972 Major League Baseball Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, but never played in the majors for them. Instead, he was sent to the Houston Astros as part of a trade that brought pitcher Claude Osteen to the Cardinals. Larson made his major league debut with the Astros in 1976, and that was probably his best season. He went 5–8 in '76, with a career-best 3.02 ERA.

In 1977, Larson spent most of the season in the majors, but his performance went down significantly, as he won just one game in eight decisions and his ERA nearly doubled to 5.81. Larson spent nearly the entire 1978 season back in the minor leagues, and that September he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Dan Warthen. He made one appearance for the Phillies, pitching one inning.

Larson spent most of the next three seasons in the minor leagues, making brief appearances in the majors in each year. Over those seasons, Larson pitched in a total of 20 games, mostly as a starter. In 1980, Larson had a respectable 3.15 ERA, but gave up a large number of unearned runs, resulting in a record of 0–5.

Following the 1981 season, Larson was traded again, this time to the Chicago Cubs as part of a trade to bring Mike Krukow to the Phillies. Larson again went winless in 1982, going 0–4 with a 5.67 ERA, and never appeared in the major leagues again. He continued to play minor league baseball until 1984 before retiring.

Don Drysdale

Donald Scott Drysdale (July 23, 1936 – July 3, 1993) was an American professional baseball player and television sports commentator. A right-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers for his entire career in Major League Baseball, Drysdale was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.

Drysdale won the 1962 Cy Young Award and in 1968 pitched a record six consecutive shutouts and ​58 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings.One of the most dominant pitchers of the late 1950s and early to mid 1960s, Drysdale stood 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall and was not afraid to throw pitches near batters to keep them off balance. After his playing career, he became a radio and television broadcaster.

Don Sutton

Donald Howard Sutton (born April 2, 1945) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a right-handed pitcher. He played for 23 total major league seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and California Angels. He won a total of 324 games, 58 of them shutouts and five of them one-hitters, and he is seventh on baseball's all-time strikeout list with 3,574.

Sutton was born in Clio, Alabama. He attended high school and community college in Florida before entering professional baseball. After a year in the minor leagues, Sutton joined the Dodgers. Beginning in 1966, he was in the team's starting pitching rotation with Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen. Sixteen of Sutton's 23 MLB seasons were spent with the Dodgers. He registered only one 20-win season, but he earned double-digit wins in almost all of his seasons.

Sutton entered broadcasting after his retirement as a player. He has worked in this capacity for several teams, the majority being with the Atlanta Braves. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Len Boehmer

Leonard Joseph Stephen Boehmer (born June 28, 1941, at Flint Hill, Missouri) is a retired American Major League Baseball player who appeared in 50 games played between the 1967 and 1971 seasons for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees.

Primarily a first baseman, but also a utility infielder, he was listed at 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and 192 pounds (87 kg) and threw and batted right-handed.

Boehmer grew up in Flint Hill, Missouri, a town of about 100 residents. He attended St. Louis University and after his sophomore year, with both the Reds and Yankees showing interest in him, he signed with the Reds in 1961 for an $18,000 bonus.He was in his seventh season in the Cincinnati farm system when he was recalled for his Major League debut on June 18, 1967. In his first at bat, as a pinch hitter for Gerry Arrigo, he grounded out against Claude Osteen of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Boehmer stayed in the game and flied out in his second MLB at bat, then again went hitless as a pinch hitter on July 2 before returning to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

At the close of the 1967 minor league baseball season, he was traded to the New York Yankees for pitcher Bill Henry and Boehmer played the rest of his pro career in the Yankees organization.

After batting .268 in 144 games for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in 1968, Boehmer made the Yankee roster for the entire 1969 season, where in the team's 70th game of the season, against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boehmer earned his first major league hit (and RBI) and it was a big one—a 10th-inning single off Garry Roggenburk which scored Horace Clarke to put the Yankees ahead for good, 4-3, and Boehmer later scored on a Roy White single for the final result of 5-3.For the season with the Yankees, he appeared in 45 games, starting 17 at first base and seven more at second base, hitting just .176 in 108 at bats. His 19 hits included four doubles.

He then spent the entire 1970 season back at Syracuse (batting .288) before returning to the Yanks for a brief, three-game stint in July 1971, going hitless in five at bats.

In his final season in pro ball, 1972, he batted .326 in 113 games with Syracuse.

For his minor league career, Boehmer batted .274 with 91 home runs in 1,196 games.In parts of three major league seasons, he tallied 19 hits (all in 1969) in 116 at bats.After baseball, he entered his father's plumbing supply business, where Boehmer and his brother ran Boehmer Brothers Utility Supply. After he retired, his sons Stephen and Robert became the third generation to run the business. Boehmer continues to live in his hometown of Flint Hill with his wife Alice. They have four children and twelve grandchildren.

List of Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day starting pitchers

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Los Angeles. They play in the National League West 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. The Dodgers have used 22 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 61 seasons in Los Angeles. The 22 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 27 wins, 26 losses and 8 no decisions.The Dodgers started playing in Los Angeles in 1958, after moving from Brooklyn. The first Opening Day game for the Dodgers in Los Angeles was played in San Francisco against the San Francisco Giants on April 15, 1958. California native Don Drysdale was the Dodgers' Opening Day starting pitcher that day, in a game the Dodgers lost 8–0. Dodgers starting pitchers won both of their Opening Day starts in their first home ballpark in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.Kershaw's eight Opening Day starts for the Dodgers from 2011 to 2018 are the most ever by a Dodgers starter, one more than Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. Fernando Valenzuela, Ramón Martínez and Orel Hershiser have had at least four Opening Day starts, with six, five and four respectively. Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who won three Cy Young Awards during the 1960s, only made one Opening Day start for the Dodgers, in 1964. Drysdale and Kershaw are also tied for the Los Angeles Dodgers record for most wins as an Opening Day starter, with five wins. Drysdale also had two loses while Kershaw has one loss.Koufax (1964), Chan Ho Park (2001), Brad Penny (2008) and Hiroki Kuroda (2009) are the only Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day starting pitchers to have won all their Opening Day decisions, Martinez and Derek Lowe share the Los Angeles Dodgers record for most Opening Day losses, with three. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series championship in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988. Drysdale (1959, 1963 and 1965), and Fernando Valenzuela (1981 and 1988) were the Dodgers' Opening Day starting pitchers those years. The Dodgers' starting pitcher won the Opening Day game in 1963, 1965 and 1981, but lost in 1959 and 1988.

Wenatchee Chiefs

The Wenatchee Chiefs were a minor league baseball team in the northwest United States, based in Wenatchee, Washington.

Founded in 1937, the team was a part of the Class B Western International League through 1954, although the team did not operate after 1941 and the entire league was suspended during World War II, for the seasons from 1943 to 1945. The Chiefs were one of the seven founding members of the Northwest League in 1955, where they remained until the team suspended operations after the 1965 season, the last before the NWL went to the short-season format.

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