Wednesday, June 17, 2009

1976 Topps #115 - Ken Holtzman

  • Ken Holtzman compiled a 174-150 record in 15 seasons from 1965-1979. He was a two-time All Star (1972 and 1973) and pitched for three World Champion teams (1972-1974 Oakland A's). He holds the record for most victories by a Jewish pitcher and was popular in the Jewish community.
  • Holtzman started off with three relief appearances for the Chicago Cubs in 1965. He was put in the Cubs starting rotation in 1966 and went 11-16 with a 3.79 ERA. Ken didn't pitch very much in 1967 due to National Guard obligations, but went 9-0 with a 2.53 ERA.
  • Ken went 17-13 with a 3.58 ERA for the ill-fated 1969 Cubs. He pitched a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves on August 19, 1969 at Wrigley Field. It was the first no-hitter ever thrown without a strikeout. In 1970 Holtzman went 17-11 with a 3.38 ERA for the Cubs.
  • Although he pitched another no-hitter in 1971 (June 3 against the Reds), Holtzman had an off-year. He was 9-15 with an ERA of 4.48. He requested a trade (he was unhappy with manager Leo Durocher) and was traded to the Oakland A's for Rick Monday after the season.
  • Ken had a nice year in 1972, going 19-11 with a 2.51 ERA. He won game 1 of the 1972 World Series. Another good year (21-13, 2.97) followed in 1973, and Ken went 2-1 in the 1973 World Series.He was 19-17 with a 3.07 ERA in 1974 and he won game 4 of the 1974 World Series.
  • Ken was 18-14 with a 3.14 ERA in 1975, but he was 0-2 in the 1975 AL Championship Series. Holtzman was traded with Reggie Jackson to the Baltimore Orioles just before the beginning of the 1976 season. He was 5-4 in 13 starts for the Orioles when he was traded to the New York Yankees in a multi-player trade. Ken went 9-7 for the Yanks but didn't pitch in the postseason. Apparently George Steinbrenner was disappointed with Holtzman's performance and tried unsuccessfully to get Holtzman (the Yankee union rep) to waive his no-trade clause. Steinbrenner banished Ken to the bullpen as punishment.
  • Holtzman was only 2-3 with a 5.78 ERA in 18 starts in 1977. Again, he didn't pitch in the postseason. He pitched in five games for the Yankees in 1978 then was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Ron Davis. Ken went 0-3 with a 6.11 ERA for the Cubs in 1978. He was 6-9 with a 4.59 ERA for the Cubs in 1979 and was released after the season.
  • After his playing career Ken used his business degree to work as a stockbroker and in the insurance business.

1 comment:

  1. Holtzman had some good years left. He got screwed by the Yankees.