Kuzava with the Yankees in 1953
May 28, 1923 |
|September 21, 1946, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1957, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||4.05|
|Career highlights and awards|
Robert Leroy Kuzava (born May 28, 1923) is an American former professional baseball player, a left-handed pitcher for the Cleveland Indians (1946–47), Chicago White Sox (1949–50), Washington Senators (1950–51), New York Yankees (1951–54), Baltimore Orioles (1954–55), Philadelphia Phillies (1955), Pittsburgh Pirates (1957) and St. Louis Cardinals (1957). He was born in Wyandotte, Michigan. In 2003, Bob Kuzava was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.
Kuzava helped the Yankees win three consecutive World Series from 1951–53. He gained saves in the final games of both the 1951 World Series against the New York Giants (Game 6) and 1952 against the Brooklyn Dodgers (Game 7). He pitched in the ninth inning of a 1953 World Series Game 5 victory for the Yankees as well.
Although his success in the World Series came in relief, Kuzava was a starting pitcher for the Yankees for three seasons, throwing 12 complete games. He joined them on June 15, 1951, with the Washington Senators trading him to New York for three players, and proceeded to earn three championship rings as a Yankee.
Kuzava, whose nickname was "Sarge", finished fourth in voting for the 1949 American League Rookie of the Year for having a 10–6 record for the Chicago White Sox, with nine complete games. He had been a military policeman during World War II.
Born and raised in the Detroit area, Kuzava made his Major League debut against the Detroit Tigers. He was the Indians' starting pitcher for a late-season 1946 game in Cleveland, and over eight innings he gave up just four hits and one earned run. He got no decision, the game lasting 11 innings, with Detroit's Dizzy Trout pitching all 11 for the victory.
He spent most of the 1947 and 1948 seasons in the minor leagues before his breakout season with the White Sox in 1949.
In a 10-season career, Bob Kuzava had a 49–44 Win–Loss record, 213 Games (99 Started), 34 Complete Games, 7 Shutouts, 58 Games Finished, 13 Saves, 862 Innings Pitched, 849 Hits Allowed, 427 Runs Allowed, 388 Earned Runs Allowed, 54 Home Runs Allowed, 415 Walks, 446 Strikeouts, 8 Hit Batsmen, 18 Wild Pitches, 3,748 Batters Faced, 1 Balk, a 4.05 ERA and a 1.466 WHIP.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Van Blair, Rick (1994). Dugout to Foxhole: Interviews with Baseball Players Whose Careers Were Affected by World War II. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Publishers.