January 13, 1944
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|September 17, 1965 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 1972 for the Atlanta Braves|
|Career highlights and awards|
Larry Edward Jaster (born January 13, 1944 in Midland, Michigan) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Montreal Expos and Atlanta Braves between 1965 and 1972, he did not play in the major leagues in 1971. He attended Northwood Institute.
He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals on January 1, 1962. After a few years in the minors, he made his major league debut on September 17, 1965 versus the Los Angeles Dodgers at the age of 21. He pitched one inning of relief that game, giving up zero hits and walking none. The rest the season was almost just as good for him-he started three games after his debut, completing all of them for a record of 3-0 in his rookie season. He gave up only five earned runs in 28 innings that year, for an ERA of 1.61.
His second season, 1966, was also great-in 21 games started, he completed six games and threw a shut out in five of them. He collected all his shutouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers that season-who were the NL pennant winners in 1966. That also means he shut out the Dodgers every time he faced them. In 1966, he went 11-5 with a 3.26 ERA. He led the league in shutouts, all the while coming in fourth place for NL Rookie of the Year. He also had the fifth best winning percentage in 1966.
In 1967, he also did very well-although he threw only two complete games and one shutout in 1967, he also had a 3.01 ERA. He went 9-7 that season. His 9-13 record in 1968 is quite deceiving. He still completed 3 of the 21 games he started, and he only gave up 47 earned runs that year-poor defensive around him allowed 13 unearned runs. He finished the season with a 3.50 ERA-had the team defense been more effective, he could have had an ERA as low as 2.74. He surrendered a grand slam to Jim Northrup in game 6 of the 1968 World Series. Detroit won the game 13-1, and the series after being down 3-1.
After being drafted 47th overall by the Montreal Expos in the 1968 MLB expansion draft, his career began to spiral downwards. In 1969, he went 1-6 with a 5.49 ERA in 77 innings-although he was still able to complete one game. He also made history that year by throwing the first-ever pitch in a Major League regular season game in Canada. The Expos defeated Jaster's former team, the Cardinals, 8-7 at Jarry Park on April 14; Jaster was shelled after giving up seven runs (five unearned) in the third inning. After that poor season, he was sent to the Atlanta Braves for Jim Britton and Don Johnson. In two seasons with the Braves (1970 and 1972), he went 2-2 with an ERA of 6.23 in 19 games, one started.
He decided to call it quits after the 1972 season, at the age of 28. He played his final game on October 4, 1972. Even after three dismal seasons at the end of his career, he still managed to keep his career winning percentage over .500 with a record of 35-33, with a still-impressive career ERA of 3.64. He was not too bad as a hitter-although he had a .170 career batting average, he still hit .421 with the Expos in 1969. He also had two career home runs. As a fielder, he committed seven errors for a fielding percentage of .923.
Nicknamed "The Dodger Killer" after shutting them out five times in a row in 1966.