Essegian Chucked

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(February 27, 1963) The Cleveland Indians today traded outfielder Chuck Essegian to the Kansas City Athletics for pitcher Jerry Walker.

The Indians had purchased Essegian from the A’s in 1961. He hit .289 for the Tribe in 60 games over the rest of that season. In 1962, Essegian hit .274 with 21 home runs with 50 RBIs.

Chuck Essegian hit 21 home runs with 50 RBIs for the Cleveland Indians in 1962.

In 1959, as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Essegian became the first major league player to hit two pinch home runs in a single World Series. He was also the second major league player to participate in both the Rose Bowl (as a member of the Stanford University football team in 1952) and in the World Series. Jackie Jensen preceded him in that distinction.

In exchange for Essegian, the Indians received right-handed pitcher Jerry Walker, who had posted an 8-9 record with a 5.90 ERA for Kansas City in 1962. Walker was signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 1957 and had his best year in the majors in 1959, when he posted an 11-10 record for the Orioles with a 2.92 ERA. He was the American League’s starting pitcher in the 1959 All-Star game at age 20.

Walker would post a 6-6 record as a relief pitcher for Cleveland in 1963. He would be out of baseball before the end of the 1964 season.

Jerry Walker was an All-Star in 1959 at age 20. He was 11-10 for the Baltimore Orioles that season. As a member of the Cleveland Indians in 1963, his only save was in Early Wynn’s 300th career victory.

Essegian would hit .225 for Kansas City in 1963, his final season as a major leaguer. He played in Japan in 1964.

This deal was actually the second trade that Essegian and Walker were involved in. Just prior to the 1961 season, they were traded together by the Orioles to the Kansas City A’s for pitcher Dick Hall and outfielder Dick Williams, the future manager of the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics.

 

 

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Winning with What’s Left

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Bud Daley

In his prime, Bud Daley was a very good pitcher with a very bad team.

He was a knuckleball pitcher who offset the flutter pitch with an outstanding curve ball. And he was that most prized of baseball assets: a southpaw with control.

Bud Daley had his best seasons as a starter for one of the American league’s worst teams, the Kansas City Athletics. He won 16 games in both 1959 and 1960, and was an All-Star both seasons.

Bud Daley had his best seasons as a starter for one of the American league’s worst teams, the Kansas City Athletics. He won 16 games in both 1959 and 1960, and was an All-Star both seasons.

Daley grew up in California and was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1951. He spent six seasons in the Indians’ farm system, winning 18 games at Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League in 1955, the same year he made his major league debut. He pitched in 34 games for Cleveland in 1957, starting 10, and went 2-8 with a 4.43 earned run average.

In April of 1958, he was traded with Dick Williams and Gene Woodling to the Baltimore Orioles for Larry Doby and Don Ferrarese. Two weeks later he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics for Arnie Portocarrero. It would be in Kansas City where Daley would develop into one of the American League’s best pitchers … for one of the league’s worst teams.

Daley was 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA as a reliever for the Athletics in 1958. He moved into the starting rotation in 1959 and responded with a 16-13 record and a 3.16 ERA for the seventh-place A’s. In 1960 the Athletics finished last despite Daley’s winning 16 games again, third most in the league. He also finished fourth in the league with 13 complete games.

Daley started the 1961 season by going 4-8 for the Athletics and was sent back to the bullpen, where he was rescued in a trade to the New York Yankees for Art Ditmar and Deron Johnson. He was 8-9 for the Yankees the rest of that season, and was the winning pitcher in the fifth and final game of the 1961 World Series.

Bud Daley was the winning pitcher in the fifth and final game of the 1961 World Series. He pitched 6.2 innings of relief as the Yankees clobbered the Cincinnati Reds 13-5.

Bud Daley was the winning pitcher in the fifth and final game of the 1961 World Series. He pitched 6.2 innings of relief as the Yankees clobbered the Cincinnati Reds 13-5.

In 1962 Daley appeared in 43 games for the Yankees, all but six in relief. He went 7-5 with a 3.59 ERA and four saves. It would be his last season as an impact pitcher for the Yankees. He made only a single appearance in 1963, and was 3-2 in 13 appearances for New York in 1964.

After the 1964 season, he was sent back to the Cleveland Indians as one of the players named later in the deal that brought Pedro Ramos to New York. (The other player was pitcher Ralph Terry.) Daley was released by the Tribe just prior to the start of the 1965 season and retired.

In 10 major league seasons, Daley was 60-64 with a career ERA of 4.03. He was a member of the American League All-Star team in 1959 and 1960.

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21 and Done

 

Lights Out: Tom Cheney Whiffs 21 O’s

When: September 12, 1962

Where:  Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

Game Time:  3:59

Attendance: 4,098

Tom Cheney won only 19 games in eight big league seasons. But for one night he became the most celebrated pitcher in baseball, and the most proficient strikeout artist of all time.

Tom Cheney holds the major league record with 21 strikeouts in a single game. Cheney went the distance, beating the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in 16 innings. He had 13 strikeouts after 9 innings.

Tom Cheney holds the major league record with 21 strikeouts in a single game. Cheney went the distance, beating the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in 16 innings. He had 13 strikeouts after 9 innings.

Cheney rode his fastball to the major leagues after signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1952. He twice won as many as 14 games pitching in the Cardinals’ minor league system. Like so many over-powering pitchers, he had strikeout stuff but control was a problem. He spent time in the big leagues with the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded to the Washington Senators in 1961.

By June of the 1962 season, Cheney had worked his way into the Senators’ starting rotation. By the end of August, pitching for the league’s worst team, Cheney had posted a decent 3.34 ERA but had only a 5-8 record.

His first start in September came against the Los Angeles Angels. Cheney didn’t figure in the decision, though he went 10 innings and struck out 10 batters while allowing only two runs. The Senators won the game 3-2 in the eleventh inning.

Over the next week, he made one start and two relief appearances, with no decisions. Then, on three days’ rest, he started against the Baltimore Orioles.

Bud Zipfel's solo home run in the 16th inning gave the Senators – and Tom Cheney – the victory.

Bud Zipfel’s solo home run in the 16th inning gave the Senators – and Tom Cheney – the victory.

The Senators scored one run in the top of the first inning, and Cheney retired the Orioles in the bottom of the inning without allowing a run, or recording a strikeout. His first strikeout of the game came in the second inning, then three in the third, one in the fourth, and three more in the fifth inning. The Orioles tied the game on a Charlie Lau RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Cheney had 13 strikeouts through nine innings with the score tied 1-1. He struck out two in the tenth and two more in the eleventh. But the Senators failed to score in both innings. Cheney wasn’t about to come out. Was he thinking about the game against the Angels 11 days earlier when he came out an inning too soon?

Cheney recorded no strikeouts in the twelfth and thirteenth innings, and then got two more in the fourteenth. After 14 innings and 19 strikeouts, he was still trying to win a 1-1 game.

Dick Williams was Tom Cheney’s 21st strikeout victim.

Dick Williams was Tom Cheney’s 21st strikeout victim.

After getting his twentieth strikeout in the fifteenth inning, Cheney watched Senators first baseman Bud Zipfel hit a solo home run off Dick Hall to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. Cheney went out for the bottom of the sixteenth inning. He got Boog Powell to ground out for the first out, then gave up a single to Dave Nicholson. Jackie Brandt flied out to center field for the second out. And on pitch number 228, Cheney struck out Dick Williams on a called strike. He had 21 strikeouts and a 16-inning complete game victory.

Cheney allowed 10 hits and faced 62 batters. He finished the 1962 season at 7-9 with a 3.17 ERA.

In 1963, Cheney was on his way to the best season of his career when an elbow injury ended his season … and his career not long after. After 21 starts, Cheney was 8-9 with seven complete games, four shutouts and a 2.71 ERA. He would make only seven more starts in his career.

His record of 21 strikeouts in a single game has never been matched.

 

Lights Out!Excerpt from Lights Out! Unforgettable Performances from Baseball’s Real Golden Age