February 27, 1937 |
|April 11, 1961, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 12, 1966, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||168|
|Career highlights and awards|
Carl Wayne Warwick (born February 27, 1937) is a retired American professional baseball player. An outfielder, he appeared in 530 games over six Major League seasons (1961–66) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Colt .45s, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs. During the 1964 World Series, he set a record by reaching base in his first four plate appearances (three singles and one base on balls) as a pinch hitter, as he helped his Cardinals defeat the New York Yankees in seven games.
Warwick batted right-handed but threw left-handed; he stood 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg). Born in Dallas, Texas, he graduated from Sunset High School and then played varsity baseball for Texas Christian University, leaving after his junior season to sign a bonus contract with the Dodgers. In his second pro season, 1959 with the Victoria Rosebuds, he led the Double-A Texas League in runs scored (129) and home runs (35), hit .331 and was selected Most Valuable Player. The following year, playing with the Triple-A St. Paul Saints, he was named an American Association all-star.
Warwick made the Dodgers' 28-man early-season roster coming out of spring training in 1961, but was traded to the Cardinals May 30 with shortstop Bob Lillis for third baseman Daryl Spencer. Struggling at the plate, he spent 52 games tuning up his batting stroke with the Triple-A Charleston Marlins. He then spent the next four full seasons at the Major League level.
In 1962, in another early-season trade, the Cardinals dealt him to the expansion Colt .45s on May 7. Back in his native Texas, Warwick became Houston's regular center fielder, starting in 104 games, and his 16 home runs ranked second on the club (to Román Mejías' 24). The Colt .45s moved Warwick to right field in 1963, and he got into a career-high 150 games, but his power numbers declined (hitting only seven home runs with 47 runs batted in). Just prior to spring training in 1964, the Cardinals reacquired Warwick to serve as a spare outfielder and pinch hitter. He appeared in 88 games (49 defensively), and had 11 hits in 43 at bats in a pinch hitting role, as St. Louis put on a late-season surge to win the National League pennant on the closing day of the season.
1964 World Series
Then, in the 1964 World Series, Warwick was called on to pinch hit five times by manager Johnny Keane. He proceeded to reach base four times in his first four appearances. His sixth-inning pinch single in Game 1 off Al Downing drove home the go-ahead run in the Cardinals' 9–5 triumph. He also singled and scored a run in Game 2 against Mel Stottlemyre, drew a base on balls from Jim Bouton in Game 3 and singled again off Downing in Game 4, to spark a rally capped by Ken Boyer's grand slam home run in a 4–3 Cardinal win. He fouled out off Bouton in Game 6 to complete a Series in which he batted .750 with a .800 on-base percentage, two runs scored and an RBI.
The 1964 Series was the high-water mark of Warwick's baseball career. He batted only .132 in a 1965 season split between the Cardinals and Orioles, and then .227 in 16 games for the last-place 1966 Cubs. He retired from baseball prior to the 1967 season, returning to Houston and operating real estate and travel agencies.