Joe Nuxhall

Joseph Henry Nuxhall (/ˈnʌkshɔːl/; July 30, 1928 – November 15, 2007) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, primarily for the Cincinnati Reds. Immediately after retiring as a player, he became a radio broadcaster for the Reds from 1967 through 2004, and continued part-time up until his death in 2007. Nuxhall held the team's record for career games pitched (484) from 1965 to 1975, and still holds the team mark for left-handers.

In addition to his 40 years of broadcasting Reds games, Nuxhall is most remembered for having been the youngest player ever to appear in a major league game, pitching ​23 of an inning for the Reds on June 10, 1944 at the age of 15 years, 316 days. Called upon for that one game due to player shortages during World War II, Nuxhall eventually found his way back to the Reds in 1952, and the National League All-Star team in 1955 and 1956. Long known as "The Ol' Left-hander", he compiled a career earned run average of 3.90 and a record of 135–117 during his 16-season career, with all but five of his victories being earned with the Reds. Nuxhall died in 2007 after a long battle with cancer.

Joe Nuxhall
Joe Nuxhall 1957
Nuxhall in 1957
Pitcher
Born: July 30, 1928
Hamilton, Ohio
Died: November 15, 2007 (aged 79)
Fairfield, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 10, 1944, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1966, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Win–loss record135–117
Earned run average3.90
Strikeouts1,372
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Nuxhall was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio. During World War II, many regular baseball players were unavailable while serving in the military. Meanwhile, Nuxhall was the biggest member of the ninth grade class in nearby Hamilton, Ohio at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 190 pounds (86 kg)—a left-hander with a hard fastball, but not much control. He had already been playing in a semipro league with his father for a few years. Scouts looking to fill out the Reds' depleted roster were following Orville Nuxhall, Joe's father, in 1943. But they were informed that the elder Nuxhall was not interested in signing a professional contract because of his five children. The scouts then became interested in the son, who was only 14 at the time. After waiting until the following year's basketball season was over, Nuxhall signed a major league contract with the Reds on February 18, 1944. General manager Warren Giles intended to wait until school was over in June to add him to the team, but more of his players were inducted into the service in the spring. With permission from his high school principal, Nuxhall was in uniform with the team on Opening Day.

Teenage debut

I was pitching against seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders, kids 13 and 14 years old... All of a sudden, I look up and there's Stan Musial and the likes. It was a very scary situation.[1]

On June 10, the Reds were playing the first-place (and world-champion-to-be) St. Louis Cardinals at Crosley Field and trailing 13–0 in the ninth inning when Manager Bill McKechnie called on Nuxhall for mopup relief. He started well, retiring the first batter he faced, shortstop George Fallon, on a groundout. But he was unable to get out of the inning, yielding five walks, two hits, one wild pitch and five runs. He spent the rest of the 1944 season in the minor leagues. But unlike Jake Eisenhart, who made his debut for the Reds the same day by getting the last out of the frame, Nuxhall returned to pitch in the majors.

Nuxhall remains the youngest individual to play in a major league game in history. During his lifetime, it was believed that a 14-year-old named Fred Chapman pitched five innings in one 1887 game. But in 2009, the Society for American Baseball Research discovered that Chapman's first name and age were both incorrect. The 1887 player was actually named Frank Chapman, and he was 25 years old at the time of his only major league appearance.[2][3] There have also been sources listing a Billy Geer, who played for the 1874 New York Mutuals of the National Association, as being born in 1859; but this is questionable as well, as is whether the National Association was a major league.

Joe Reliford, a 12-year-old batboy for the Class D Fitzgerald Pioneers, became the youngest person ever to play in a professional baseball game in 1952, when he was called on to pinch-hit.[4]

Minor leagues

Following his appearance with the Reds, he was assigned to the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League, but pitched only a third of an inning there (he struck out his first batter, then allowed a hit, five walks, a hit batter and five runs). Nuxhall attended spring training with the Reds in 1945, but decided to remain home until he finished high school the following year. He regained his amateur status and played football, basketball and baseball for Hamilton High School as a senior in 1946, earning all-state honors in football and basketball. Over the next five years, he played in the minor leagues with Syracuse, Lima, Muncie, Columbia, Charleston and Tulsa before returning to the Reds in 1952. He briefly returned to the minors in 1962 with the San Diego Padres.

Return to the major leagues

At the age of 23, Nuxhall returned to the majors. He pitched the final three innings of a 1–19 shellacking by the Brooklyn Dodgers on May 21, 1952, allowing one hit and no runs. Four days later, he took over for Herm Wehmeier in the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, but he allowed two runs on six hits in five innings of work and was credited with the 7–6 loss, his first in the majors.[5][6] On July 13, he made his first career start against the New York Giants. In nine innings of work, he allowed four runs on nine hits, striking out two and walking three, but the Reds lost 4–2.[7] A month later, he received his first win when he pitched three innings in relief of Harry Perkowski as the Reds rallied in the ninth to win 5–4 over the New York Giants. He allowed two hits and one run while striking out and walking two each. [8] Ultimately, Nuxhall played in 37 games, going 1–4 with a 3.22 ERA in 92​13 innings, having one save while striking out 52 with 42 walks. In the fielding, he had 24 assists with three putouts and one errors and four double plays for a .964 fielding percentage. The following year, he went 9–11 with a 4.32 ERA, having five complete games and two saves in 141​23 innings. He had 69 walks and 52 strikeouts. In batting, he had 49 at-bats in 30 games, batting .327 (a career high), having 16 hits and three home runs with eight RBIs, four walks and 13 strikeouts. In fielding, he had six putouts, 18 assists, three errors on a .889 fielding percentage. The next year, he improved to 12–5 with a 3.89 ERA in 35 games and 166​23 innings. He had five complete games while having 59 walks and 85 strikeouts. He had four putouts, 29 assists, one error and five double plays for a .971 fielding percentage. He ranked 9th in strikeouts per 9 innings at 4.590, the first of five times he ranked in the top ten over nine seasons. He also ranked in the top ten in strikeouts/walks with 1.441 (9th) and 0.594 in home runs per 9 innings (4th)

Nuxhall blossomed in 1955, going 17–12 with a 3.47 ERA on 257 innings with five shutouts (a career and league high) while striking out 98 and walking 78. He had 12 putouts, 35 assists, three errors, four double plays for a .940 fielding percentage. He was named to the All-Star Game that year. He pitched 3​13 innings while allowing two hits and no runs with three walks and five strikeouts. Nuxhall ranked in the top ten in numerous categories in the National League that season, such as ERA (7th), wins (3rd), walks & hits per inning (1.237, 7th), innings pitched (2nd), walks (5th), and hits (4th with 240). [9]

The following year, he went 13–11 with a 3.72 ERA in 200​23 innings and 44 games, having three saves while throwing 10 complete games. He struck out 120 while walking 87 (a career high). He had six putouts, 31 assists, two errors and three double plays for a .949 fielding percentage. He was named to the All-Star Game once again, although he did not pitch. [10] Nuxhall ranked in the top ten of a few categories in the NL, such as strikeouts (10th), strikeouts per nine innings (5.382, 4th), and walks (4th). The 91–63 record and 3rd place finish by the Redlegs (in which they finished two games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers). This was the closest Nuxhall came to postseason action.

He stumbled the following year, going 10–10 with a 4.75 ERA in 39 games and 174​13 innings. He had 99 strikeouts and 53 walks. He had 11 putouts, 20 assists, four errors (a league high), and one double play turned for a .886 fielding percentage. He improved slightly in 1958, going 12–11 for a 3.79 ERA in 36 games and 175​23 innings. He had 111 strikeouts and 63 walks. He had six putouts, 29 assists, with three errors and double plays turned each on a .921 fielding percentage. He ranked sixth in hits per nine innings with 8.658 (10th) and strikeouts per nine innings with 5.687 (6th). The following year, he went 9–9 with a 4.24 ERA and one save in 29 games and 131​23 innings. He had 75 strikeouts and 35 walks. He had six putouts, 19 assists, with one errors and double play turned for a .962 fielding percentage. For 1960, he did not have the success of the past few years, going 1–8 with a 4.42 ERA in 38 games and 112 innings. He had 72 strikeouts and 27 walks. He had eight putouts, 26 assists, one errors and four double plays for a .971 fielding percentage.

On January 25, 1961, he was traded by the Reds to the Kansas City Athletics for John Briggs and John Tsitouris. In his one season with Kansas City, he went 5–8 with a 5.34 ERA in 37 games and 128 innings with one save, striking out 81 while walking 65. He had his second highest batting average at .292 in 65 at-bats, hitting 19 times while having two home runs and 13 RBIs, striking out 18 times while walking six times. He had 10 putouts, 13 assists, three errors and one double play for a .885 fielding percentage. On December 4, he was released by the Athletics.

He signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles for the 1962 season, but on April 9, 1962 (one day before the season started), he was purchased by the Los Angeles Angels. In five games with the team, he had a 10.13 ERA while having no wins or losses, pitching 5​13 innings while allowing seven hits, six runs, five walks, and two strikeouts. On May 15, he was released. He signed back with the Reds roughly a month later. He went 5–0 with the Reds in twelve games for a 2.45 ERA with one save in 66 innings, striking out 57 while walking 25.

Nuxhall improved for the 1963 season, going 15–8 with a career low 2.61 ERA in 35 games and 217​13 innings (the second most inning work in his career). He had a career high 169 strikeouts along with 39 walks. He had five putouts, 33 assists, five errors and two double plays for a .884 fielding percentage. He won his 100th career game on June 29, beating the San Francisco Giants 7–3, pitching nine innings while allowing seven hits, two walks and 11 strikeouts. [11]

Nuxhall regressed slightly the following year, going 9–8 with a 4.07 ERA in 32 games and 154​23 innings, striking out 111 while walking 51. He had five putouts, 20 assists, two errors and one double play turned for a .926 fielding percentage.

For 1965, he went 11–4 with a 3.45 ERA in 32 games and 148​23 innings, striking out 117 while walking 31 batters. He had five putouts, 20 assists, two errors and one double play for a .926 fielding percentage. He had five putouts, 13 assists, with no errors and double plays for a 1.000 fielding percentage. On July 30, he pitched in his 441th game for the Reds, passing the team record of 440 games pitched by Eppa Rixey. In a nine inning effort, he allowed eight hits with one runs, eight strikeouts and no walks in a 5–1 win. [12] Nuxhall's final mark of 484 stood until Clay Carroll surpassed it in 1975.

The 1966 season (his 16th season along with his 15th for the Reds) proved to be his last in the majors. He went 6–8 with a 4.50 ERA in 35 games and 130 innings. He struck out 71 and walked 42 batters. He had six putouts, 20 assists, three errors, and one double play for a .897 fielding percentage. His final pitching appearance was on October 2, 1966 against the Atlanta Braves. He pitched in relief of Sammy Ellis in the top of the eighth inning with two outs and the Braves having taken the lead one batter earlier. Facing George Kopacz, Nuxhall got the batter to hit a flyball for an out to end the inning. He was replaced by Don Nottebart for the ninth inning. [13]

Second career

Nuxhall retired from the Reds in April 1967. Under the guidance of Hamilton sports broadcaster Ray Motley, he immediately joined the Reds broadcast team despite his lack of broadcasting experience.

Part of his trademark radio signoff phrase – "This is the old left-hander, rounding third and heading for home" – is displayed on the outside of the Reds' stadium, Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003. A likeness of Nuxhall (see photo) is one of five statues that decorate the main entrance of the stadium (The others are Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski, Frank Robinson, and Pete Rose). He was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1968, and officially retired from the Reds on October 3, 2004, 60 years after his pitching debut, though he still made guest appearances on some game broadcasts. For many years after retiring as a player and during his broadcasting career, Nuxhall pitched batting practice for the Reds. In addition to being called "Nuxy" and "the ole lefthander", Nuxhall was also known as "Hamilton Joe", particularly to locals. He spent nearly 62 of his 64 baseball seasons in the Reds organization as a minor-league player, major-league player or an announcer from 1944–2007; the only exceptions being 1946 (when he was on the "voluntarily retired" list — in reality, he went back to high school), 1961 (when he was dealt to the Kansas City A's) and 1962 (pitching for a few weeks with the Los Angeles Angels before heading back to Cincinnati).

On June 6, 2007, the Reds honored Nuxhall, Marty Brennaman, and Waite Hoyt with replica microphones that hang on the wall near the radio booth. At Redsfest in December, 2007 the Reds announced Nuxhall would be honored throughout the 2008 baseball season – their uniforms would display a dark patch with the word "NUXY" printed in white. On March 31, 2008 the Cincinnati Reds paid tribute to Nuxhall by wearing his #41 jersey for opening day.

In December 2007, Nuxhall was named as one of the ten finalists for the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award, an honor bestowed annually on broadcasters who make major contributions to the game of baseball. Of more than 122,000 online ballots cast by fans, Nuxhall received 82,304 votes.[14] Despite this show of support, it was announced on February 19, 2008 that the Frick election committee had voted in favor of the voice of the Seattle Mariners, Dave Niehaus.[15]

His book and character education fund

In September 2004, Orange Frazer Press released Joe: Rounding Third & Heading for Home.[16] A portion of the proceeds from the book benefits the Joe Nuxhall Character Education Fund, which was established in 2003 to underwrite character development programs and projects for children.

Community remembrance

In the days following Nuxhall's death, several radio stations in the Cincinnati area devoted shows to him, and fans left cards, flowers and banners at the statue of Nuxhall at Great American Ball Park. A public visitation ceremony was attended by thousands of fans and several local and national sports and broadcasting personalities. At his visitation held at Fairfield High School, an estimated 6,000 people showed up to pay their respects to Nuxhall and the Nuxhall family.

2008 Opening Day memorial

The Reds remembered Nuxhall on their 2008 Opening Day. Players wore an alternate jersey during their introductions, which bore the number 41 and Nuxhall's name on the back. Aaron Harang, who usually wore the number 39 jersey, was allowed by MLB to wear the number 41 jersey with Nuxhall's name for the entire game. Nuxhall's number 41 was honored by the team displaying it in left-center field over the Reds' bullpen. Reds players wore patches with "Nuxy" and his number 41 on them as a tribute.

See also

References

  • Bob Rathgeber (1982). Cincinnati Reds Scrapbook. JCP Corp. of Virginia. ISBN 0-938694-05-7
  • Lonnie Wheeler and John Baskin (1988). The Cincinnati Game. Orange Frazer Press. ISBN 0-9619637-1-9
  • Rick Van Blair (1994). Dugout to Foxhole: Interviews with Baseball Players Whose Careers Were Affected by World War II. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-0017-X
  • Greg Rhodes and John Snyder (2000). Redleg Journal: Year by Year and Day by Day with the Cincinnati Reds Since 1866. Road West Publishing. ISBN 0-9641402-5-X

Footnotes

  1. ^ Kay, Joe (June 5, 1994). "At Age 15, Nuxhall Grew Up in a Hurry : The Youngest-Ever Pitcher in Majors Broke in 50 Years Ago Against Musial". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "SABR Biographical Research Committee, March/April 2009 Report" (pdf) (Press release). Society for American Baseball Research. March – April 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2010. Section "Joe Nuxhall's Record is Safe"
  3. ^ "SABR Biographical Research Committee, October 2009 Report" (pdf) (Press release). Society for American Baseball Research. October 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2010. Section "Frank Chapman"
  4. ^ Batboy barrels his way into Hall of Fame
  5. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.fcgi?id=nuxhajo01&t=p&year=1952
  6. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN195205250.shtml
  7. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN195207132.shtml
  8. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN195208241.shtml
  9. ^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/07121955.shtml
  10. ^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/yr1956as.shtml
  11. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SFN/SFN196306290.shtml
  12. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN196507300.shtml
  13. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN196610020.shtml
  14. ^ National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: Hall of Fame News Archived February 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Joe Nuxhall Fails To Earn Ford C. Frick Award – :: Cincinnati news story :: LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati
  16. ^ Doane, Kathleen (September 2004). "Cry Foul and Let Loose Nuxhall". Cincinnati. Emmis Communications. p. 30. Retrieved July 5, 2016.

Further reading

External links

1944 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1944 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League, although finishing in third place. They had 89 wins and 65 losses.

1953 Philadelphia Phillies season

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

1955 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1955 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 22nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 12, 1955, at Milwaukee County Stadium, the home of the Milwaukee Braves of the National League.

1955 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1955 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. It was the first season for Phillies' manager Mayo Smith. Prior to the season, the Phillies were seen to have strong pitching with ace Robin Roberts but did not have power hitters to match pennant favorites Brooklyn, New York, or Milwaukee, behind whom the Phillies finished in fourth place with a record of 77 and 77.

1986 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1986 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West, although falling short in second place behind the Houston Astros.

1987 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1987 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West. The Reds finished in 2nd place with a record of 84-78.

Carl Scheib

Carl Alvin Scheib (January 1, 1927 – March 24, 2018) was a professional baseball player, a right-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics (1943–45 and 1947–54) and St. Louis Cardinals (1954) of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Born in Gratz, Pennsylvania, Scheib led the American League in wild pitches with 9 in 1950. He was one of the best-hitting pitchers of his time. In 1948, he registered 31 hits in 104 at bats, for a batting average of .298 with two home runs and 21 runs batted in. He appeared in 32 games as a pitcher, and 20 more as a pinch hitter. In 1951, Scheib appeared in 46 games as a pitcher, two more as a pinch hitter, and batted .396 (21 for 53). His .396 mark was the highest for a pitcher with that many at bats since 1925. In his MLB career, Scheib batted an even .250, with five home runs, 59 RBI and 117 hits in 468 at bats. In 11 seasons, Scheib had a 45–65 win–loss record, in 267 games, with 107 games started, 47 complete games, 17 saves, 1,070​2⁄3 innings pitched, 290 strikeouts, and a 4.88 ERA.

When Scheib made his first appearance in 1943 at age 16, he was the youngest player in the modern era until Joe Nuxhall debuted with the Cincinnati Reds the following season. Scheib remains the youngest player in American League history. A biography of Scheib entitled "Wonder Boy – The Story of Carl Scheib: The Youngest Player in American League History" by Lawrence Knorr was released May 26, 2016. It was published by Sunbury Press.

Ed Stratton

William Edward Stratton (1858 – January 31, 1900) was an American professional baseball player, who played for the 1873 Baltimore Marylands team. Having been born in 1858 (exact date unknown), Ed Stratton is the youngest player ever to play in the history of Major League Baseball, having debuted at most 15 years, 133 days of age. (Joe Nuxhall, who is commonly believed to hold this distinction, debuted at 15 years, 316 days of age.)

Fairfield, Ohio

The City of Fairfield is a suburban community located in both Butler and Hamilton counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. Fairfield is located approximately 25 miles north of Cincinnati and is situated on the east bank of the Great Miami River. The population was 42,510 at the 2010 census. Incorporated in 1955 from portions of Fairfield Township it includes the former hamlets of Symmes Corner (named for Celadon Symmes.), Fair Play, Furmandale and Stockton. The Fairfield City School District is one of the largest in Ohio and serves both the City of Fairfield and Fairfield Township.

George Fallon (baseball)

George Decatur Fallon (July 8, 1914 – October 25, 1994) was a backup second baseman/shortstop in Major League Baseball who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1937) and St. Louis Cardinals (1943-1945). A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Fallon batted and threw right-handed. He debuted on September 27, 1937, and played his final game on July 13, 1945.

In a four-season career, Fallon posted a .216 batting average (61-for-282) with one home run and 21 RBIs in 133 games played. One notable moment in Fallon's career—he was the first batter to face Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joe Nuxhall when the then 15-year-old Nuxhall made his major league debut on June 10, 1944. Nuxhall retired Fallon on a groundout.

Fallon died in Lake Worth, Florida, at age 80.

Great American Ball Park

Great American Ball Park is a baseball stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is the home field of Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds. It opened in 2003, replacing Cinergy Field (formerly Riverfront Stadium), their home field from 1970 to 2002. The park's name comes from Great American Insurance Group.The ballpark hosted the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The Reds put in $5 million for improvements, which included two new bars and upgraded concession stands.

Greg Hoard

Greg Hoard is a former newspaper journalist and television sports broadcaster and the author of the Joe Nuxhall biography, JOE: Rounding Third And Heading For Home (ISBN 1-882203-37-2).

He joined the sports department at The Cincinnati Post in 1979 as a feature reporter and columnist, and The Cincinnati Enquirer in 1984 as the Reds beat writer. Hoard moved into television and worked for WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1990–1993, before joining WXIX-TV as sports director until 2005. He ultimately quit television work, saying he never felt comfortable in the medium.

He is currently said to be working on a book about Cincinnati Reds legends.

Jake Eisenhart

Jacob Henry "Jake" Eisenhart (October 3, 1922 – December 20, 1987) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who appeared in one game for the Cincinnati Reds in 1944. The 6'3½", 195 lb. left-hander was a native of Perkasie, Pennsylvania.

Eisenhart is one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II. After attending Juniata College, he was signed by the Reds to a 30-day trial contract, but his only big league action came on June 10, 1944 in a home game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Crosley Field. He entered the game with two out in the top of the ninth inning, and the Reds behind 18–0. The pitcher he came in to relieve was 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall, who had just made his major league debut. Eisenhart walked the first batter he faced, George Fallon, then got the last out, retiring opposing pitcher Mort Cooper on a foul out. His total major league experience ended up lasting only 1/3 of an inning. He was released by the Reds on June 24. Eisenhart also served in the Army during World War II, and toiled three years in the Philadelphia Athletics organization, but never made it back to the major leagues. He died in 1987 in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

John Tsitouris

John Philip Tsitouris (May 4, 1936 – October 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1957–60 and 1962–68. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg).

Tsitouris graduated from Benton Heights High School in Monroe, North Carolina. He signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1954 and made his MLB debut with the Tigers on June 13, 1957. Coming into a scoreless tie in relief of Steve Gromek in the fifth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles, he had an adventurous top of the sixth frame, surrendering two hits and a stolen base, but emerged unscathed when Oriole baserunners Joe Durham and Dick Williams were both thrown out at home plate. Then, in Detroit's half of the sixth inning, the Tigers scored two runs on a home run by Charlie Maxwell and an RBI double by J. W. Porter. Tsitouris pitched 1​2⁄3 innings that day and gave up one earned run, three hits and two bases on balls, but ended up getting credit for a 2–1 victory. During that offseason, he was part of a 13-player trade that sent, among others, Billy Martin to the Tigers from the Kansas City Athletics.

Tsitouris had trials with the Athletics in both 1958 and 1959. He appeared in 14 games and 33 innings pitched in 1960. On May 4 of that year, Tsitouris jaw was broken when he was hit by a line drive in batting practice. After the 1960 season, Tsitouris was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with John Briggs for left-handed pitcher Joe Nuxhall. He spent almost two full seasons in minor league baseball before getting his chance with Cincinnati in September 1962. Tsitouris made the most of it, giving up only two earned runs in 21⅓ innings and hurling a complete game, five-hit shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies on September 30.

For the next three seasons, Tsitouris was a full-time member of the Reds' pitching staff, winning 12 (1963), nine (1964), and six (1965) games, mostly as a starting pitcher. On September 21, 1964, he shut out the Phillies 1–0 on six hits at Connie Mack Stadium, starting the ten-game Philadelphia losing streak that knocked the Phillies out of first place. However, with his effectiveness diminishing year-by-year, Tsitouris was sent to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 1966 and, despite brief trials with Cincinnati in 1967–68, spent the rest of his career in the minors.

Tsitouris' Major League record included 149 games pitched, 34 wins, 18 complete games, five shutouts, three saves and 432 strikeouts in 663 innings. He surrendered 653 hits and 260 bases on balls.

Tsitouris died in Monroe on October 22, 2015.

Mack Burk

Mack Edwin Burk (born April 21, 1935 in Nacogdoches, Texas) is a retired American professional baseball player. Normally a catcher, Burk appeared in 16 Major League games played for the 1956 and 1958 Philadelphia Phillies—13 as a pinch runner, two as a pinch hitter, and only one game (and one inning) as a catcher.

Burk stood 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall, weighed 180 pounds (82 kg) and threw and batted right-handed. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and signed a $40,000 bonus contract with the Phillies in September 1955. Under the rules of the day, a "bonus baby" such as Burk was compelled to spend his first two years as a professional baseball player on a Major League roster. In his pro debut, on May 25, 1956, Burk pinch-ran for catcher Andy Seminick. In his third game, on June 5, he pinch hit for pitcher Curt Simmons in the fifth inning and singled off left-hander Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Redlegs. He came around to score his first big-league run that inning on a sacrifice fly by Stan Lopata. He scored two more runs during the 1956 season, both as a pinch runner. In his lone appearance in the field, Burk caught one inning, the bottom of the eighth, in relief of Lopata on July 25 against the Cardinals, and handled one chance flawlessly.Burk missed the entire 1957 season due to military service. But in 1958, he returned to baseball and was able to gain much-needed playing time in minor league baseball. He also played in one game with the Phillies. In his second big-league plate appearance and at bat, he was called upon to pinch hit for Phils' pitcher Ray Semproch in the 14th inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants, and he was called out on strikes against veteran Johnny Antonelli. It would be Burk's final MLB appearance. All told, he collected three runs scored, and one single in his two at bats for a career batting average of .500.

Mack Burk continued his career in the minors through 1960 in the Phillies' farm system before leaving pro baseball.

Memo Luna

Guillermo "Memo" Luna Romero (born June 25, 1930 in Mexico City) is a retired Mexican professional baseball player, a left-handed pitcher whose career extended from 1949 through 1961 and who pitched one game of Major League Baseball for the 1954 St. Louis Cardinals. He stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 168 pounds (76 kg).

Luna had two outstanding seasons in the minor leagues. In 1951, he led the Class C Southwest International League in strikeouts (318) and earned run average (2.52) while posting a 26–13 won–lost record for the sixth-place Tijuana Potros. Two years later, Luna led the Open-Classification Pacific Coast League in earned run average (2.67), as he won 17 of 29 decisions for the 1953 San Diego Padres. That performance earned him a trial with the 1954 Cardinals.

Luna started the Redbirds' sixth contest of the season, at Busch Stadium against the Cincinnati Redlegs, but he faced only six batters in the top of the first inning. He walked Bobby Adams; then Roy McMillan hit a double, with Adams scoring on an error by Rip Repulski, which also allowed McMillan to advance to third base. Luna retired Gus Bell on a fly ball, then got another out when Jim Greengrass hit a sacrifice fly to score McMillan. With two outs and the bases empty, however, Luna gave up another double, to Ted Kluszewski, and another walk, to Johnny Temple. He then was replaced by relief pitcher Mel Wright, who prevented further scoring. However, the two runs allowed by Luna were enough to saddle him with the loss in an eventual 13–6 Cincinnati win. (The Redlegs' winning pitcher was Joe Nuxhall).Luna was sent down to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings after that one appearance, and never returned to the Majors. In 1988 he was selected to the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.

Memo Luna lives in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Reds Legends of Crosley Field

Reds Legends of Crosley Field is a group of bronze sculptures by artist Tom Tsuchiya, located at the main entrance of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The sculptures represent four Crosley Field era Cincinnati Reds players: Ted Kluszewski, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Nuxhall and Frank Robinson. These players were selected by a fan vote conducted by the Cincinnati Reds.Kluszewski's statue was unveiled on Opening Day, March 31, 2003, to coincide with the official opening of Great American Ball Park. The statues of Nuxhall and Robinson were dedicated in the summer of that year. Subsequently, Lombardi's statue was unveiled in June 28, 2004.

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