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Moe Drabowsky

Moe Drabowsky Topps baseball card - 1961 Series, #364
Pitcher
Born: July 21, 1935(1935-07-21)
Ozanna, Poland
Died: June 10, 2006 (aged 70)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
August 7, 1956 for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
September 19, 1972 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
Win-Loss     88-105
Strikeouts     1162
ERA     3.71
Saves     55
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • World Series titles: 1966, 1970
  • Set a still-standing World Series record for relief pitchers by striking out 11 batters in 6 2/3 innings in Game One of 1966 World Series

Myron Walter Drabowsky (July 21, 1935 – June 10, 2006) was a Polish-American right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago Cubs (1956-1960), Milwaukee Braves (1961), Cincinnati Reds (1962), Kansas City Athletics (1962-1965), Baltimore Orioles (1966-1968, 1970), Kansas City Royals (1969-70), St. Louis Cardinals (1971-72) and Chicago White Sox (1972).

Drabowsky is one of only four players who played for both the Kansas City Athletics and the Royals.

Contents

Early life

Drabowsky was born in Ozanna, a village in southern Poland. He came to the U.S. with his parents in 1938, living in Wilson, Conn., just north of Hartford, and attended the Loomis Chaffee School. Drabowsky attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, playing on their varsity team. He played summers in Canada, in the Halifax and District League, for Truro. He pitched a no-hitter for Trinity, in which he struck out 16, and shortly thereafter accepted a $75,000 bonus to sign with the Cubs. [1]

Career

Drabowsky joined the team's starting rotation in 1957 and posted a 13-15 record. His 170 strikeouts placed him second in the National League behind another rookie, Jack Sanford of the Philadelphia Phillies, who had 188. A sore arm cost Drabowsky his fastball in 1958, and over the next seven seasons he pitched for four different teams before the Orioles signed him for the 1966 season.

Now pitching out of the bullpen, Drabowsky won six with no losses and seven saves, and struck out 96 in 98 innings pitched. He also had one of the best games for a relief pitcher in the 1966 World Series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He entered the game in the third inning and set a still-standing one-game World Series record for relievers by striking out 11 batters, including tying Hod Eller's record of six consecutive Ks in the scandal-tainted 1919 World Series. He also walked Jim Gilliam with two out in that third inning to force in Lou Johnson for a run that, although it cut the Orioles' lead to 4-2, would be the last run the Dodgers scored. The Orioles would sweep the Dodgers 4-0, their next three wins coming on shutouts from Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker and the man Drabowsky had relieved in Game 1, Dave McNally.

Over the next two seasons, Drabowsky continued to perform excellently in relief. In 1967 he posted a 1.60 earned run average and struck out 96 in 95 2/3 innings pitched, and in 1968 he posted a 1.91 ERA. After the 1968 season he was selected by the Royals in the expansion draft; he led all relief pitchers in 1969 with 11 victories (including the first-ever game in Royals history, on April 8 against the Minnesota Twins) and also saved 11 games. Drabowsky returned to the Orioles in 1970 where he won a second World Series title against the Cincinnati Reds.

In 17 seasons Drabowsky won 88 games, lost 105, saved 55, struck out 1162 and walked 702 in 1641 innings pitched with a 3.71 ERA.

Drabowsky served as a Chicago White Sox coach in 1986. In 1987 he returned to Poland as a baseball ambassador and helped his birth nation form its first team for Olympic competition. He later became a coach again with the 1994 Cubs. Drabowsky died in Little Rock, Arkansas following a long battle with multiple myeloma at age 70 [1].

Drabowsky was well-known as a flake whose jokes involved, among other things, being rolled to first base in a wheelchair after being hit on the foot by a pitch while with the Cubs. (Teammate Dick Drott obtained the wheelchair and pushed Drabowsky to first—and was ejected from the game. [2]) One of his specialties was the hotfoot; he even victimized Commissioner Bowie Kuhn during the Orioles' 1970 World Series celebration. After retiring, he once called the bullpen phone and imitated Oriole manager Earl Weaver to get a reliever working. Weaver was shocked to see a reliever warming up in the pen and called his bullpen coach to find out what was going on. In the Jim Bouton book "Ball Four", one of Drabowsky's teammates claimed that Drabowsky got sick on a team flight and "puked up a panty girdle."

In Chicago columnist Mike Royko's annual Cubs quiz, April 11, 1968 (One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko, University of Chicago, 1999, p.29-31), he stated that Drabowsky "is still considered the best pitcher that Ozanna, Poland, ever produced."

While with the Cubs, Drabowsky gave up Stan Musial's 3,000th career base hit in 1958. He was also the losing pitcher, as a Kansas City Athletic in 1963, in Early Wynn's 300th career victory.

References

  1. ^ Prankster pitcher Moe Drabowsky dies at age 70 Associated Press. Retrieved January 14, 2007.

See also

External links


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