December 9, 1941 |
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|April 18, 1965 for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 18, 1980 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||3.12|
|Career highlights and awards|
Darold Duane Knowles (born December 9, 1941) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher, and the current pitching coach of the Florida State League's Dunedin Blue Jays. In the 1973 World Series, Knowles became the only pitcher to date to appear in all seven games of a World Series.
Knowles signed with the Baltimore Orioles in 1961 after attending the University of Missouri. He spent four seasons in their farm system, going 45-28 with a 2.83 earned run average, mostly as a starter. He made his debut with the Orioles in 1965, pitching 1.2 innings out of the bullpen, and giving up five earned runs before returning to the triple A Rochester Red Wings. Upon completion of the International League season, Knowles received a September call back up to Baltimore. He went 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA in his return. The loss came against the Detroit Tigers in his only start.
After the season, he and Jackie Brandt were traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jack Baldschun. He won the season opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching six innings of one-run ball to earn his first career win. His first career save came on May 12 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the 1966 season, he earned thirteen saves. His 69 appearances, all in relief, were the third highest total of any pitcher in the league. At the end of his only season in Philadelphia, he was traded to the Washington Senators for Don Lock.
Knowles began earning a reputation as a work-horse reliever, as he was used 61 times by manager Gil Hodges in 1967. He was used 32 times in 1968 when his season was cut short by President Lyndon B. Johnson's reserve call-up of the Air Force's 113th Tactical Fighter Wing in which he was an airman first class. He returned to the Senators in May 1969, and went 4-1 with four saves and a 2.01 ERA to earn his only career All-Star nod.
On May 8, 1971, the first place Oakland Athletics acquired Knowles and Mike Epstein for Frank Fernandez, Paul Lindblad and Don Mincher. Knowles only allowed four of 35 inherited runners to score, and earned seven saves and five wins out of a bullpen that already included Rollie Fingers and Bob Locker. The A's won the American League West by sixteen games over the Kansas City Royals, but were swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1971 American League Championship Series. Knowles only appearance came in game three.
1973 World Series
Knowles made five starts for the World Champion A's in 1973, pitching his only complete game shutout against the Boston Red Sox on August 14. The A's repeated as AL champions, and faced the New York Mets in the World Series. Knowles appeared in all seven games of the World Series, pitching 6.1 innings without giving up an earned run, and earning the save in games one and seven. He is, to date, the only pitcher ever to appear in all seven games of a World Series.
Knowles had an off year in 1974, going 3-3 with a 4.22 ERA and blowing two of his five save opportunities. His .296 batting average against was the highest in the Oakland bullpen. Regardless, the A's won their third World Series in a row in 1974, however, Knowles did not make a post-season appearance. Shortly after the World Series, he, Bob Locker and Manny Trillo were dealt to the Chicago Cubs for Billy Williams.
Knowles inherited the closer's role in Chicago, saving fifteen in 1975 and nine in 1976. Shortly before Spring training 1977, Knowles was dealt to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later and cash. He went 5-2 with a 3.22 ERA and four saves to help the Rangers to a second place finish. After the season, he was reunited with his former A's manager Dick Williams when his contract was sold to the Montreal Expos. He appeared in sixty games with the Expos, going 3-3 with six saves and a 2.38 ERA.
Knowles did not enjoy playing in Canada, citing taxes, language problems and political unrest in Quebec as the reasons for his displeasure. After just one season in Montreal, Knowles signed a two year deal with his home team St. Louis Cardinals.
Knowles made 48 appearances and earned six saves with the Cards in 1979. He made just two appearances in April 1980 before retiring and accepting a coaching position in the Cardinals' farm system. At the time of his retirement, he was tied for 13th in career saves.
His pickoff rate of one runner every 24 innings is the highest in major league history. During his playing days, he was a school teacher during the off-season.
After eight years as a minor league pitching coach for the Cardinals, Knowles was hired as the Philadelphia Phillies' pitching coach in January 1988 by new manager Nick Leyva. Under Knowles, the Phillies' pitching staff, which had a National League worst 4.14 ERA and 628 walks in 1988, showed only mild improvement, and he was demoted to a minor league coaching position after the 1990 season.
|Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach
- "1973 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com. October 13–21, 1973.
- "Detroit Tigers 5, Baltimore Orioles 0". Baseball-Reference.com. September 8, 1965.
- "Philadelphia Phillies 5, St. Louis Cardinals 4". Baseball-Reference.com. April 14, 1966.
- "Philadelphia Phillies 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 1". Baseball-Reference.com. May 12, 1966.
- "Pitcher May Lose $100,000". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. January 26, 1968.
- "1969 Major League Baseball All-Star Game". Baseball-Reference.com. July 23, 1969.
- "1971 American League Championship Series, Game Three". Baseball-Reference.com. October 5, 1971.
- Eric Prewitt (October 6, 1972). "Vida Blue Looking for Playoff Start". Waycross Journal-Herald.
- "Oakland A's 1, Boston Red Sox 0". Baseball-Reference.com. August 14, 1973.
- "1973 World Series, Game One". Baseball-Reference.com. October 13, 1973.
- "1973 World Series, Game Seven". Baseball-Reference.com. October 21, 1973.
- "Knowles Goes Home". The Pittsburgh Press. January 17, 1979.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)