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Steve Hamilton
Pitcher
Born: November 30, 1935(1935-11-30)
Columbia, Kentucky
Died: December 2, 1997 (aged 62)
Morehead, Kentucky
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
April 23, 1961 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
August 16, 1972 for the Chicago Cubs
Career statistics
Win-loss record     40-31
Strikeouts     531
Earned run average     3.05
Teams

Steven Absher Hamilton (November 30, 1935 in Columbia, Kentucky – December 2, 1997 in Morehead, Kentucky) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) and NBA player.

He was mostly a relief pitcher during his 12 MLB seasons, including a stint as the New York Yankees closer during the 1968 season. In 421 career games (17 starts) from 1961-1972 he had a 40-31 record with 42 saves and a 3.05 earned run average. He pitched 1 inning during the Yankees 1963 World Series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers and 2 innings during the Yankees 1964 World Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, including 1 save. He also pitched in the 1971 NLCS for the San Francisco Giants.

His one complete game shutout was on August 5, 1966, against the Cleveland Indians, while pitching for the New York Yankees. He gave up 5 hits, walked 1 and struck out 3. It was one of only 3 starts he had in the 1966 season.

Late in his career Hamilton threw the famed "folly-floater," a high, slow eephus pitch. (Other pitchers that have thrown a lob pitch include Rip Sewell and Dave LaRoche.) One of his most famous moments involving this pitch occurred on June 24, 1970, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. Hamilton threw a "folly floater" to Indian slugger Tony Horton, who fouled it out of play. Horton asked for another; Hamilton obliged and again threw him the pitch, and again Horton hit it into foul territory—this time into Thurman Munson's mitt for an out. An embarrassed Horton crawled back into the dugout on all fours. A clip of this can be found on YouTube.

From 1958-1960 he was a power forward/center for the Minneapolis Lakers. He played for the 1958-59 team that lost to the Boston Celtics during the 1959 NBA Finals. Over 2 season he average 4.5 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, and 0.5 assists per game.

After his major league career ended, he was a Detroit Tigers coach in 1975 and was the athletic director at his alma mater, Morehead State University. Hamilton died of cancer at age 62.

External links

Sources

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