October 10, 1923
Brooklyn, New York
January 23, 1995 (aged 71)
New York, New York
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 28, 1949 for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 19, 1957 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Earned run average||4.06|
|Career highlights and awards|
Rogovin was a pitcher over parts of 8 seasons (1949-57), with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia Phillies. For his major league career, he compiled a 48-48 record in 150 appearances, with a 4.06 ERA, 10 shutouts, and 388 strikeouts.
Rogovin attended Abraham Lincoln High School, where he played baseball as an infielder, winning the Public League title for his school when he hit a game-winning homer. Soon after graduation, he tried out for the Dodgers, but was not signed.
Rogovin then played with a Class D team in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where he was paid $60 a month, but the club soon folded. In 1941, he took a job as an assembly-line worker with Brewster Aircraft, and played with the plant team. Dolly Stark, a National League umpire, saw him and recommended him to the Giants' manager, Mel Ott.
At a tryout Ott was impressed with Rogovin's power, and signed him to a contract with Jersey City as an outfielder. After appearing in just two games, he was sold to Chattanooga of the Southern Association, where he played third base. Red Lucas, a coach there, suggested Rogovin try pitching. On the last day of the 1945 season he started and threw a four-hit shutout against the Birmingham Barons.
He was then traded in 1946 to Pensacola. Buffalo next signed him to a contract for the 1947 season. He then went to the Venezuelan winter league. When he refused to pitch one game because of a sore arm, the team owner had him carted off to jail for a brief stay.
Before the 1944 season, Rogovin signed as a free agent with the Washington Senators. Prior to the start of the 1947 season, he was sent by the Senators to the Detroit Tigers. In 1950, he developed a sore arm after pitching on a cold, damp night in spring training. Even though it was only an exhibition, manager Red Rolfe refused to take him out. During the regular season Rogovin pitched in 11 games, with a 2-1 record and a 4.50 ERA.
On May 15, 1951, he was traded by the Tigers to the Chicago White Sox for Bob Cain. He led the American League with a 2.78 ERA in 1951 while playing for Detroit and Chicago. He compiled a 12-8 record that season, and was 4th in the league in hits allowed per 9 IP (7.85), and 5th in complete games (17) and shutouts (3). Seven of his eight losses were by one run, and the eighth by two runs.
He was 14-9 in 1952, when he struck out 14 Red Sox in a 15-inning game. His was 7th in the league in innings (231.7; a career high), 8th in shutouts (3), 9th in games started (30) and wins, and 10th in strikeouts (121). But his arm still gave him intermittent problems.
On December 10, 1953, he was traded by the White Sox with Rocky Krsnich and Connie Ryan to the Cincinnati Reds for Willard Marshall. In December 1954 he was sent from the Cincinnati Redlegs to the Baltimore Orioles. On July 9, 1955, he was released by the Orioles and signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies. He posted a 3.08 ERA with the Phillies to go with a 5-3 record. Milton Richman wrote in Sport Magazine that Rogovin had acquired a sinker and a change-up to supplement his fading fastball. Rogovin remarked, "Somebody cracked that I now throw with three speeds -- slow, slower, and stop. But who cares, as long as I'm winning? They can have the fastball."
A classic Rogovin remark concerns the time Dolly Stark attempted to make another "Hank Greenberg" out of him early in his career. Rogovin said, "I have a strong arm, but I never could hit like Greenberg. The only thing we have in common is that we're Jewish."
After retiring from baseball, he went back to college to get his teaching certification in his fifties, and became a teacher in the N.Y.C. school system.
He sometimes fell asleep on the bench, and after one night game was found asleep in the dugout at Comiskey Park long after his teammates had showered and dressed. Some felt he was lazy; according to an article by Saul Wisnia in the Washington Post, however, Rogovin suffered from a sleep disorder.