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Al Hrabosky

Pitcher
Born: July 21, 1949 (1949-07-21) (age 60)
Oakland, California
Batted: Right Threw: Left 
MLB debut
June 16, 1970 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
August 18, 1982 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
Pitching record     64-35
Saves     97
ERA     3.10
Strikeouts     548
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • Led the major leagues in saves (22) and win-loss percentage (81.3%) in 1975[1]

Alan Thomas (Al) Hrabosky (pronounced /hrəˈbɒski/; born July 21, 1949 in Oakland, California) is a former Major League Baseball player from 1970-1982 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, and Atlanta Braves and is currently the color commentator on Cardinals regular season broadcasts on FSN Midwest.

Hrabosky's nickname is The Mad Hungarian, because of his unusual last name and colorful character; however, he is not of Hungarian descent.

Contents

Playing career

Hrabosky played at Savanna High School[2] in Anaheim, California and was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 11th round of the 1967 amateur draft, but did not sign with the club. Two years later the Cardinals made him their first round choice. Within a year, at the age of 20, he made his major league debut, pitching a scoreless inning against the San Diego Padres.

During his time with the Cardinals, Hrabosky became a fan favorite for his antics on the mound. Between each pitch he would turn his back to the batter, walk towards second base, vigorously rub the ball between his hands several times, take a deep breath, and pound the ball into his mitt. He would then storm back to the mound, staring down the batter. Although the crowd would roar in delight, most batters were not fond of the pitcher's routine and during one such incident a brawl was initiated.

Arguably, Hrabosky's best year was 1975 when he led the National League in saves with 22 (a career best) en route to winning the Sporting News NL Fireman of the Year award. After eight seasons in St. Louis, the Cardinals traded Hrabosky to the Kansas City Royals. Following just two years with the Royals, he was released and signed with the Atlanta Braves. During his time with the Braves he saw diminished playing time and recorded just seven saves over three seasons. Hrabosky signed with the Chicago White Sox during Spring Training in 1983 but retired before the season began. In 13 seasons he recorded 64 wins, 35 losses, and 97 saves with an ERA of 3.10.

Early in his career with the Cardinals, Hrabosky enhanced his menacing appearance with long hair and a Fu Manchu moustache. However, when Vern Rapp became the Cardinals manager in 1977, Hrabosky had to cut his hair and shave the moustache.

Broadcasting career

Following his playing career, Hrabosky made a smooth transition into the world of broadcasting. He has provided color commentary for Cardinals games since 1985 and has been with Fox Sports Midwest since 1997. Hrabosky also hosted his own radio show on KFNS 590AM in St. Louis.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Al Hrabosky Statistics". http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/hraboal01.shtml. Retrieved 2007-02-04.  
  2. ^ "MLB draft: A look at Orange County's alumni dream team". http://www.ocregister.com/photos/league-team-major-2053828-orange-county/pid2058666. Retrieved 2009-08-17.  

External links

Preceded by
Mike Marshall
National League Saves Champion
1975-1976
(1975 with Rawly Eastwick)
Succeeded by
Rollie Fingers
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