Raffensberger in about 1953
August 8, 1917|
|Died: November 10, 2002
|April 25, 1939, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 2, 1954, for the Cincinnati Redlegs|
|Earned run average||3.60|
|Career highlights and awards|
Kenneth David Raffensberger (August 8, 1917 – November 10, 2002) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1939 through 1954, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1939), Chicago Cubs (1940–41), Philadelphia Phillies (1943–47), and Cincinnati Reds/Redlegs (1947–54). Raffensberger batted right-handed and threw left-handed. He was born in York, Pennsylvania.
In a 15-season career, Raffensberger posted a win-loss record of 119–154 with 806 strikeouts and a 3.60 ERA in 2151.2 innings pitched. His career winning percentage was .463, despite being an all-star and having an above average career ERA (3.60).
Raffensberger started his career as a fastball pitcher, particularly gaining success with his rising fastball. Towards the later end of his career, however, starting in the early 1940s, he developed a dependable forkball to complement his fastball, slow curve, and change. He had one of the widest ranges of deliveries in the majors, ranging from underhand to overhand and a variety of side arm and three-quarter deliveries in between. Stan Musial said in 1964 of Raffensberger:
- Raffy had nothing except slow stuff, and a forkball, but, with changing speeds and control, he made those pitches seem so fat when they weren't... I stubbornly tried to slug with him and didn't have much success."
Raffensberger died in York, Pennsylvania, at age 85.
- Made National League All-Star team (1944)
- Twice led NL in shutouts (1949, five – 1952, six)
- Led NL in games started (1949, 38)
- Led NL in saves (1946, six)
- Led NL in WHIP (1951, 1.086)
- Led NL in SO to Walk (1944, 3.02)
- 3-time appeared in National League MVP vote (1949, 1951–52)
- Twice led NL in losses (1944, 20 – 1951, 17)
- Led NL in home runs allowed (1950, 34)
- Led NL in hits allowed (1949, 289)
- I didn't go along with it... I never believed in throwing at a guy, Raffensberger said, after Phillies manager Ben Chapman had instructed his pitchers to throw the ball at Jackie Robinson when there was a 3–0 count.
- St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial said on an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show that Raffensberger was the toughest left-handed pitcher he had ever faced and dubbed him "Crafty Raffy."
- List of Major League Baseball career wins leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual saves leaders
- The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches. Bill James and Rob Neyer. 2004.
- Baseball Almanac
- Baseball Library
- Baseball Spot at the Wayback Machine (archived January 16, 2005)
- "Former Reds' pitcher dies at 85". The Cincinnati Post. 2002-11-11. Archived from the original on 2005-02-17.
- The Deadball Era
- Historic Baseball
- York Wiki