October 16, 1936 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 28, 1961 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 21, 1970 for the San Diego Padres|
|Earned run average||3.69|
Originally signed by the Washington Senators out of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1956, the right-handed pitcher was selected by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft on November 28, 1960. After learning how to throw the screwball, Baldschun finally made it to the majors as a 24-year-old rookie in 1961. In a season in which the ballclub endured both a fourth straight last-place finish with a major league-worst 47–107 mark and a 23-game losing streak in August that still stands as a record, he led all National League pitchers with 65 appearances and was the only Phillie to end the campaign with a winning tally (5–3). He established himself as the closer by leading the team in saves in each of the next three years (13 in 1962, 16 in 1963, 21 in 1964). During the Phillies' "September swoon" of 1964, Baldschun saw absolutely no action because manager Gene Mauch thought he cracked under pressure. He continued to fall out of favor with the temperamental Mauch in 1965, registering only six saves due to a failure to hold leads. His five-season record in Philadelphia was 39–34 with 59 saves.
He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on December 6, 1965 for Jackie Brandt and Darold Knowles. Three days later, he was dealt to the Reds with Milt Pappas and Dick Simpson in exchange for Frank Robinson. Baldschun went 9–7 with only one save for the remainder of his major league career.
In nine seasons he had a 48–41 record with 60 saves, 555 strikeouts and a 3.69 earned run average in 457 games. He had 704 innings pitched, allowing 687 hits, 45 home runs, 298 walks (including 67 intentional), 23 hit batsmen and 49 wild pitches.
Immediately after his playing career ended, Baldschun joined his brother in a carpentry business. He later became a salesman for a lumber establishment. He is currently spending his retirement in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
See also 
- James, Bill; Neyer, Rob (2004). The Neyer/James guide to pitchers : an historical compendium of pitching, pitchers, and pitches. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 124. ISBN 0-7432-6158-5. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
||This section has an unclear citation style. (October 2009)|
- Hawkins, John C. This Date in Baltimore Orioles & St. Louis Browns History. Briarcliff Manor, NY: Stein & Day, 1983.
- Kashatus, William C. September Swoon: Richie Allen, the '64 Phillies, and Racial Integration. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)