Jim Konstanty

Casimir James Konstanty (March 2, 1917 – June 11, 1976) was an American relief pitcher in Major League Baseball and National League Most Valuable Player of 1950. He played for the Cincinnati Reds (1944), Boston Braves (1946), Philadelphia Phillies (1948–1954), New York Yankees (1954–1956) and St. Louis Cardinals (1956). Konstanty batted and threw right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 202 pounds (92 kg).

Jim Konstanty
Jim Konstanty
Pitcher
Born: March 2, 1917
Strykersville, New York
Died: June 11, 1976 (aged 59)
Oneonta, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 18, 1944, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
September 19, 1956, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record66–48
Earned run average3.46
Strikeouts268
Saves74
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Originally from the New York hamlet of Strykersville, he was the son of a farmer. Konstanty starred in sports in high school in Arcade, New York, and also at Syracuse University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree. He was a member of the university basketball team from 1936 to 1939. Konstanty was a physical education teacher in Saint Regis Falls, New York, before becoming a professional baseball player. He pitched in semi-pro leagues for the Malone Maroons and the Massena Alcos (sponsored by the Aluminum Company of America) in 1940 and 1941. In one game he struck out 11 batters while playing for Massena.

Career

Jim Konstanty Bowman card
Konstanty's 1951 Bowman Gum baseball card

Konstanty began his pro career in 1941 at age 24. He pitched briefly with the Cincinnati Reds in 1944 and Boston Braves in 1946, while spending 1945 performing United States Navy service. Then he spent three seasons in the minors until 1948, when the Phillies called him up. He became a relief specialist who employed a slider and a change-up with great effectiveness.

In 1950, when the Phils "Whiz Kids" won the National League pennant, Konstanty was named the Most Valuable Player; to date, he is the only National League relief pitcher to achieve such an honor. He appeared in 74 games (then a major league record), winning 16 games with a National League leading 22 saves. He made the NL All-Star team and received the AP Athlete of the Year and the TSN Pitcher of the Year awards. In a surprise move, he was named to start Game 1 of the 1950 World Series against the New York Yankees.[1] Konstanty gave up only four hits in eight innings but lost 1-0, his efforts outdone by Vic Raschi's two-hit shutout.

Konstanty lost some of his effectiveness after his spectacular 1950 season and was sent to the Yankees in the midseason of 1954. He played two seasons in New York, half a season for the St. Louis Cardinals, and a few games for the San Francisco Seals before retiring in 1957. In his 11-season career, Konstanty posted a 66-48 record with 74 saves and a 3.46 ERA in 433 games. In 94523 innings pitched, he struck out 268 and allowed 957 hits and 269 bases on balls. In his 36 games started, he amassed 14 complete games and two shutouts.

Post-playing career

Konstanty lived in Worcester, New York. He opened a sporting goods store in Oneonta, New York in 1948, and he would operate that store until 1973. He would serve as a minor-league pitching coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. From 1968 to 1972 he was the director of athletics at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. He lived in Worcester until his death at the age of 59.[2]

In 2008, Casimir (Jim) Konstanty was elected into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Jim Konstanty to Pitch Series Opener for Phils". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 1950-10-03. p. 15.
  2. ^ Konstanty dead at 59
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

1950 Major League Baseball season

The 1950 Major League Baseball season began on April 18 and ended on October 7, 1950 with the New York Yankees winning the World Series championship, over the Philadelphia Phillies. The only no-hitter of the season was pitched by Vern Bickford on August 11, in the Boston Braves 7–0 victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers. This season saw the first use of a bullpen car, by the Cleveland Indians.

1950 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1950 Philadelphia Phillies won the National League pennant by two games over the Brooklyn Dodgers. Nicknamed the "Whiz Kids" because of the youth of their roster, they went on to lose the World Series to the New York Yankees in four straight games.

1950 World Series

The 1950 World Series was the 47th World Series between the American and National Leagues for the championship of Major League Baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies as 1950 champions of the National League and the New York Yankees, as 1950 American League champions, competed to win a best-of-seven game series.

The Series began on Wednesday, October 4, and concluded Saturday, October 7. The Phillies had home field advantage for the Series, meaning no games would be played at the Yankees' home ballpark, Yankee Stadium, until game 3. The Yankees won their 13th championship in their 41-year history, taking the Series in a four-game sweep. The final game in the Series resulted in the New York Yankees winning, 5–2 over Philadelphia. It was the only game in the Series decided by more than one run. The 1950 World Series title would be the second of a record five straight titles for the New York Yankees (1949–1953). The two teams would not again meet in the Series for 59 years.

This was also the last all-white World Series as neither club had integrated in 1950. It was also the last World Series where television coverage was pooled between the four major networks of the day: that season, the Mutual Broadcasting System, who had long been the radio home for the World Series, purchased the TV rights despite not (and indeed, never) having a television network. They would eventually sell on the rights to NBC, beginning a long relationship with the sport.

1951 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1951 Philadelphia Phillies finished in fifth place. The team had won the 1950 National League pennant but in the United Press' annual preseason poll of sportswriters, only 18 out of 168 writers picked the team to repeat as pennant winners; the Giants received 81 votes and the Dodgers 55. Those two teams wound up tied, with the Phillies 23 games behind.

1953 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1953 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 71st in franchise history.

1954 New York Yankees season

The 1954 New York Yankees season was the team's 52nd season in New York, and its 54th overall. The team finished in second place in the American League with a record of 103–51, finishing 8 games behind the Cleveland Indians, who broke the Yankees' 1927 AL record by winning 111 games. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium.

1954 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1954 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in Major League Baseball. The Phillies finished fourth in the National League with a record of 75 wins and 79 losses.

1955 New York Yankees season

The 1955 New York Yankees season was the team's 53rd season in New York, and its 55th season overall. The team finished with a record of 96–58, winning their 21st pennant, finishing 3 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they were defeated by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 7 games.

1956 New York Yankees season

The 1956 New York Yankees season was the 54th season for the team in New York, and its 56th season overall. The team finished with a record of 97–57, winning their 22nd pennant, finishing 9 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 7 games. The Series featured the only no-hitter in Series play, a perfect game, delivered by the Yankees' Don Larsen in Game 5.

Bubba Church

Emory Nicholas "Bubba" Church (September 12, 1924 – September 17, 2001) was an American right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Philadelphia Phillies (1950–52), Cincinnati Reds / Redlegs (1952–53) and Chicago Cubs (1953–55). He was born in Birmingham, Alabama.In a six-season career, Church posted a 36–37 record with 274 strikeouts and a 3.37 ERA in 999​2⁄3 innings pitched.

During his rookie season, Church was playing a key role for the famed 1950 "Whiz Kids" Phillies in their fight for a pennant. He was an important member of a very young pitching staff, teaming with Robin Roberts, Curt Simmons, Bob Miller, and the dependable reliever Jim Konstanty. However, Church was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Cincinnati's Ted Kluszewski. The ball was hit so hard that it caromed into right field on the fly. A week later, he was out on the mound again to face the hard-hitting Dodgers, but after the game his season was over, and he did not play in the 1950 World Series. He finished 1950 at 8–6 with an ERA of 2.73 and two shutouts in 142 innings.

Church enjoyed his most productive season in 1951, when he collected career-highs in victories (15), strikeouts (104), shutouts (4) and innings (246), including a one-hitter over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Early in the 1952 season, he was traded to the Reds. Church was 5–9 for Cincinnati, and 7–8 for the Reds and the Chicago Cubs in 1953. Two and a half more seasons with the Cubs, pitching only occasionally because of arm problems, brought his big league career to an end in 1955.

Prior to Church's professional baseball career, he served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II serving in the China Burma India Theater.Church died at his home in Birmingham, Alabama, five days after reaching age 77.

Clem Dreisewerd

Clemens Johann "Steamboat" Dreisewerd (January 24, 1916 – September 11, 2001) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for three different teams between 1944 and 1948. Listed at 6 ft 1.5 in (1.87 m), 195 lb., Dreisewerd batted and threw left-handed. He was born in Old Monroe, Missouri.During 10 years, Dreisewerd struggled in the minor leagues through the adversities and disappointments of baseball's contract system before attaining major league status. At the end of 1937, he decided to write a letter to the Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. In this letter, Dreisewerd complained about the manner in which he had been moved around to other organizations while under contract with the New York Giants. On New Year's Day of 1938, Commissioner Landis granted him free agency.

In 1944, while pitching for Sacramento, Dreisewerd turned things around recording 20 wins and a 1.61 ERA, the lowest of the Pacific Coast League pitchers. Finally, he reached the majors late in the season with the Boston Red Sox, ending with a 2–4 mark in seven starts. After appearing in only two games in 1945, he was recruited by the U.S. Navy near the end of World War II. While in the Navy, he pitched for a team that included major leaguers as Mickey Owen, Jim Konstanty and Eddie Yost. He was discharged in time for the start of the 1946 season with Boston.

Dreisewerd enjoyed his most productive season with the 1946 American League champion Red Sox, going 4–1 in 20 games pitched in relief, except for one start. He also pitched 1/3 of an inning in Game 4 of the memorable 1946 World Series between the Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, retiring Enos Slaughter, who had four hits and needed another to set a Series record.

In 1947, Dreisewerd was sent down to the Red Sox Class Triple-A farm team in Louisville, and led the American Association pitchers with 18 wins and a 2.15 ERA. He divided his playing time with the St. Louis Browns and New York Giants in 1948, his last major league season.

In a four-season career, Dreisewerd posted a 6–8 record with 39 strikeouts and a 4.54 ERA in 46 appearances, including 10 starts, three complete games, two saves and 140.2 innings pitched.

In October 1948 Dreisewerd tried winter baseball in Venezuela, but after a month a coup d'état caused the suspension of the baseball season. A year later he developed severe arm problems, and after unsuccessful tries with various minor league teams he was convinced that his baseball career was finished.

After retiring from baseball Dreisewerd worked as a construction contractor, building homes in the New Orleans area, where he lived for 50 years. By 1999, he was legally blind with macular degeneration. He died in Ocean Springs, Mississippi at age 85, of head injuries suffered in a fall during a vacation.

Konstanty

Konstanty may refer to:

Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski (1526-1608), Lithuanian prince

Konstanty Ostrogski (1460-1530), Grand Hetman of Lithuania

Jim Konstanty (1917-1976), American professional baseball player

Max West

Max Edward West (November 28, 1916 – December 31, 2003), was an outfielder and first baseman for the Boston Bees/Braves (1938–42 and 1946), Cincinnati Reds (1946) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1948).

West signed as an outfielder with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in 1935 and joined Mission of the same league the following year. After batting .330 with 16 home runs and 95 RBIs for Mission in 1937, West’s contract was purchased by the Boston Braves. He batted .234 his rookie year but increased his average to .285 in 1939 with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs (all career highs), finishing 23rd in voting for the 1939 National League MVP.

West was named to the 1940 National League All-Star Team, his only career appearance, and was inserted as the starting right fielder at the last minute by NL manager Bill McKechnie (over Mel Ott). In his only career All-Star at bat, he hit what would be the eventual game-winner, a 3-run home run in the first inning off Red Ruffing at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. Unfortunately, it would be his only All-Star plate appearance, as he was injured (although not seriously) leaping for Luke Appling's double off the wall in the 2nd inning and had to leave the game.

West finished 26th in voting for the 1940 NL MVP, and 27th in voting for the 1942 NL MVP. In March 1943, West joined the Army Air Force, serving with the Sixth Ferrying Group, Air Transport Command at Long Beach, California, where he regularly played baseball with (the aforementioned) Red Ruffing, Gerald Priddy and Nany Fernandez.

In April 1946, after returning from military service, West was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Jim Konstanty. He played just 73 games that year, only batting .212. He was with San Diego of the Pacific Coast League in 1947, returned to Pittsburgh in 1948 (where he batted just .178 in 87 games) and returned to San Diego the following year. West led the Pacific Coast League in home runs on three occasions, and in 1949 he hit 48 home runs with 166 RBIs. He continued playing in the PCL until 1954.

In 7 seasons West played in 824 Games and had 2,676 At Bats, 338 Runs, 681 Hits, 136 Doubles, 20 Triples, 77 Home Runs, 380 RBI, 19 Stolen Bases, 353 Walks, .254 Batting Average, .344 On-base percentage, .407 Slugging percentage, 1,088 Total bases and 15 Sacrifice hits.

West operated a sporting goods firm with Ralph Kiner in California after retiring from baseball.

West died in Sierra Madre, California from brain cancer at the age of 87.

Palmball

In baseball, the palmball pitch is a type of changeup. It requires placing the baseball tightly in the palm or held between the thumb and ring finger and then throwing it as if throwing a fastball. This takes some of the velocity off the pitch, intending to make the batter swing before the ball reaches the plate.

Notable pitchers who have been known to throw the palmball include Steve Farr, Robinson Tejeda, Ed Whitson Edwar Ramírez, Dave Giusti, Bob Stanley, Orlando Hernández, Randy Martz, reliever Tony Fiore, Bryn Smith, Kenneth Brown and 1990s reliever Joe Boever. Philadelphia Phillies and former Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay was known to have thrown a palmball early in his career, though he rarely used it later on.

Second on the All-Time saves list, Trevor Hoffman, made his palmball changeup his "out" pitch.In earlier decades, the palmball was thrown by Ewell Blackwell, NL MVP winner Jim Konstanty, Cy Young Award winner Jim Palmer, and Satchel Paige. In 1968, Red Sox starter Ray Culp turned his career around by developing a palmball. Culp went 16-6 in 1968 and topped the Red Sox in wins from 1968-70.

Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster (K)

The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The team has played officially under two names since beginning play in 1883: the current moniker, as well as the "Quakers", which was used in conjunction with "Phillies" during the team's early history. The team was also known unofficially as the "Blue Jays" during the World War II era. Since the franchise's inception, 2,006 players have made an appearance in a competitive game for the team, whether as an offensive player (batting and baserunning) or a defensive player (fielding, pitching, or both).

Of those 2,006 Phillies, 68 have had surnames beginning with the letter K. Two of those players have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: pitcher Tim Keefe, who holds the record for the lowest single-season earned run average (ERA) in major league history; and right fielder Chuck Klein, who played 15 seasons for Philadelphia in three separate stints. The Phillies are listed by the Hall of Fame as Klein's primary team. He is one of two members of this list to be elected to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame—the other being John Kruk— and holds two franchise records (career slugging percentage – .553; career on-base plus slugging – .935). Klein is the only player on this list for whom the Phillies have retired a number; since he began play with Philadelphia before uniform numbers were widely in use and wore a variety of numbers throughout his Phillies career, he is represented by the letter "P" rather than a specific number.Among the 32 batters in this list, Klein has the highest batting average, at .326; other players with an average over .300 include Bill Keister (.320 in one season), Ed Konetchy (.321 in one season), and Kruk (.309 in six seasons). Klein also leads all players on this list with 243 home runs and 983 runs batted in.Of this list's 36 pitchers, two—Jack Kucek and Bob Kuzava—have undefeated win–loss records; each has won one game and lost none. Jim Konstanty, the closer for the Whiz Kids, has 51 victories and 39 defeats, most among this list's pitchers; Keefe's 226 strikeouts lead in that category. Johnny Klippstein compiled this list's lowest earned run average, with a 2.28 average in two seasons with Philadelphia.

Strykersville, New York

Strykersville is a hamlet (and census-designated place) located within the town of Sheldon, with a small southern portion in the Town of Java, in the western part of Wyoming County, New York. The population is 647 people in the 2010 census. It is located on New York State Route 78.

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