July 8, 1943 |
|September 7, 1966 for the Cleveland Indians|
Last MLB appearance
|June 9, 1974 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Earned run average||3.62|
Career highlights and awards
George Culver (born July 8, 1943 in Salinas, California) is a former professional baseball player who was a pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1966-1974. Culver pitched for the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. He also pitched one season in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 1975.
Culver was offered $1,000 to sign with the Phillies following an outstanding high school career at North High School (Bakersfield, California), where he played five sports. He turned that down and instead went to Bakersfield College and excelled in baseball for two years.
Major league career
Culver was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1963 for $2,500. He made his major league debut at age 23 on September 7, 1966 as the Indians' starting pitcher against Jim Lonborg and the Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Culver pitched five innings and gave up five earned runs in a 5-4 loss; the first-ever major league hitter he faced was José Tartabull.
Culver pitched a no-hitter for the Reds on July 29, 1968 in a 6-1 win over the Phillies at Philadelphia's Connie Mack Stadium. Culver struck out four batters and walked five as he outdueled Chris Short in game two of a doubleheader.
Minor league coach, manager
After retiring as a player, Culver spent 30 years as a minor league manager, pitching coordinator and pitching coach in the Dodgers and Phillies organizations. His last season in professional baseball was as a roving pitching coach for the Dodgers in 2010. On his last day as an active coach, the Bakersfield Blaze minor league team honored him with a "George Culver Retirement Night" on August 23, 2010.
For many years he has been supporter of Bakersfield College, which started when he began the BC Baseball Hot Stove Dinner as a means to upgrade the baseball facilities. The Hot Stove dinners generated over $1 million, which provided lights for the BC baseball field, a state-of-the-art clubhouse with showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, lockers, and coaches offices along with two new scoreboards and dugouts. His work in the Bakersfield community, especially through the nonprofit Light Brigade, has also helped raise money for the California State University, Bakersfield baseball program plus help for the local high schools and various youth baseball groups. He brought baseball to the Police Athletic League for inner-city kids in the Bakersfield area and has raised funds to purchase equipment and helped coach players in the PAL program.
In 2012 he was inducted into the California Community College Athletics Association Hall of Fame. He was previously inducted into Kern County's Bob Elias Hall of Fame and the Bakersfield College Alumni Hall of Fame.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League
July 29, 1968