June 1, 1935|
|Died: September 18, 2012
San Blas, Mexico
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|April 15, 1959 for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 23, 1967 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Career highlights and awards|
John Francis Kralick (June 1, 1935 – September 18, 2012) was a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1959 to 1967. He participated in 235 games in the course of an eight-year career that included stints with the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. During that time, he earned 67 wins and 65 losses, accumulating a record of 668 strikeouts, with an ERA of 3.56 in 125 games and 1,218 innings pitched.
Kralick was born in Youngstown, Ohio, an industrial town with a strong amateur baseball tradition, and attended Michigan State University. Early in his professional career, he gained recognition as a pitcher for a farm team connected to the Northern League. On August 8, 1956, Kralick pitched a 5–0 seven-inning no-hitter for the Duluth-Superior White Sox in a match against the Fargo-Moorhead Twins.
Major league debut and no-hitter
Kralick made his Major League debut with the Senators on April 15, 1959. But he appeared in only five MLB games before being sent to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts for the bulk of the 1959 season. There he compiled a 3.53 earned-run average in 26 starts and 176 innings pitched. He got into one further Major League contest when the rosters expanded in September 1959 and pitched two hitlessinnings in relief against the Boston Red Sox on September 27.
On August 20, 1961, he participated in the most recent of the six major league games in which two pitchers hit a home run for the same team, with the other pitcher being Al Schroll. Then, on August 26, 1962, he no-hit the Kansas City Athletics 1–0 at Metropolitan Stadium, the first no-hitter in the history of the Twins franchise subsequent to its relocation to Minnesota. He retired the first 25 batters before a walk to George Alusik spoiled his bid for a perfect game.
Kralick was traded by the Minnesota Twins to the Cleveland Indians for Jim Perry on May 2, 1963. The transaction was made out of necessity for both teams. Kralick, along with Jim Kaat and Dick Stigman, had been one of three left-handers on the Twins' four-man starting rotation, while the Indians' only southpaw starter was Sam McDowell. Kralick was an All-Star in 1964. He played the final game of his major league career on April 23, 1967.
His contract was sold by the Indians eight days later on May 1 to the New York Mets, who were set to assign him to the Jacksonville Suns in preparation for a May 11 promotion to the majors. Instead, he was sidelined for the remainder of the campaign after he sustained a cerebral contusion and temporary diplopia when he lost control of his automobile which crashed into a retaining wall on the Memorial Shoreway near Cleveland Stadium in the early hours of May 2. The Mets offered him an invitation to its spring training camp prior to the 1968 season, but he chose to officially retire as an active player and begin working as an insurance salesman for North American Life Assurance Company of Toronto.
- "Former pitcher Kralick dies at age 77". startribune.com. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- "Player Page". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "Northern League History". Usfamily.net. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- Twins Kralick throws season's 5th no-hitter
- Jack Kralick (chronology) – BaseballLibrary.com.
- "Kralick for Perry Appears Best Trade," The Associated Press, Monday, July 8, 1963.
- "Kralick Out Month," The Blade (Toledo, OH), Wednesday, May 3, 1967.
- Brackin, Dennis & Reusse, Patrick. Minnesota Twins: The Complete Illustrated History. Minneapolis, MN: Quayside Publishing Group, 2010.
- "Jack Kralick In Car Wreck," The Associated Press, Wednesday, May 3, 1967.
- "Jack Kralick Will Retire," The Associated Press, Tuesday, April 2, 1968.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
August 26, 1962