March 13, 1931|
|Died: July 7, 1990
|July 17, 1955, for the Brooklyn Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1958, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Earned run average||4.05|
|Career highlights and awards|
He was signed by the New York Yankees out of high school, and in his first professional season he pitched a no-hitter while going 22–7 in Class D. The following season, he moved up to the Class B Norfolk Tars and went 11–2 with a 2.04 earned run average. Bessent then developed a spinal condition and was unable to pitch in 1952. He underwent surgery and was subsequently drafted by the Dodgers.
From 1953 to 1955, Bessent pitched for the St. Paul Saints of the American Association. He was called up to the majors in July 1955 and immediately pitched well. That season, he went 8–1 with a 2.70 ERA, mostly coming out of the bullpen. He also pitched 31⁄3 scoreless innings in the 1955 World Series, and the Dodgers won their first championship.
Bessent pitched just as well in 1956, going 4–3 with nine saves and a 2.50 ERA. The Dodgers won another National League pennant but lost the World Series to the New York Yankees, despite Bessent's win in Game 2. He pitched the final seven innings of a 13–8 slugfest after both teams' starting pitchers were knocked out in the second inning.
In 1957, he dropped off sharply, posting a 5.73 ERA in 44 innings. He began to develop arm problems shortly afterwards and played his final major league game in September 1958. He retired in 1962, after several unsuccessful seasons in the minors. He is survived by 3 daughters, who remain in Jacksonville.
- "Don Bessent Chronology" Archived October 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. baseballlibrary.com. Retrieved 2010-11-2.
- "Don Bessent Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2010-11-2.
- "Death of Bessent Is Special Tragedy : Baseball: Former Dodger pitcher is found in Florida parking lot, a victim of alcohol poisoning". latimes.com. Retrieved 2010-11-2.