November 10, 1953 |
|April 13, 1973, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 3, 1983, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Earned run average||3.79|
|Career highlights and awards|
Larry Richard 'L.C.' Christenson (November 10, 1953 in Everett, Washington), is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played his entire career for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1973–1983.
During his high school years, Larry was noted more for his basketball than baseball skill. After graduating from Marysville High School in 1972, Larry began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies as their number one draft pick in June of that year. He was the third pick in the first round of all college and high school players. Larry’s first minor and major league hits were home runs and he is tied with Rick Wise for most home runs (11) by a pitcher in Phillies history.
Christenson made his major-league debut on April 13, 1973, and beat the New York Mets 7–1, pitching a complete game. At the time, he was the youngest player in the Major Leagues at 19; he would remain so until 18-year-old David Clyde debuted for the Texas Rangers on June 27 of that same season. He would bounce back and forth from the majors to the minor leagues until 1975, when the Phillies called him up to stay. Christenson went 11–6 that season and would become a key cog on the Phillies' teams that would win three straight National League Eastern Division titles from 1976 to 1978. He would have his best seasons those three years, going 13–8 with a 3.68 earned run average in 1976. His best season was 1977, when he went 19–6 with a 4.06 ERA, winning 15 of his last 16 decisions. He slipped to 13–14 in 1978, despite posting a career-best ERA of 3.24, and started Game 1 of the 1978 National League Championship Series.
Then, injuries would begin to plague Christenson's career. He began the 1979 season on the disabled list with elbow problems and missed the first month. Then, in June of that season, he broke his collarbone during a charity bicycle ride and missed several weeks. He ended up with a 5–10 record that season. In 1980, he started 3–0, but went on the disabled list again and had elbow surgery. He recovered to finish the season 5–1 and start Game 4 of the 1980 World Series, but was knocked in the first inning.
In 1981, Christenson posted a less-than-stellar 4–7 record, but posted a win in the 1981 National League Division Series against the Montreal Expos. His last injury-free season was 1982, when he made 32 starts and went 9–10.
In 1983, Christenson went under the knife for elbow surgery for the final time after a 2–4 start. He failed to make the postseason roster and the Phillies gave him his unconditional release on November 10 of that year, his 30th birthday.
Christensen tried for several years, spent in his home state of Washington, to rehabilitate from his numerous surgeries, but he was unable to return to baseball. He began a career in institutional investing in 1985. He currently is president of Christenson Investment Partners which works with institutional asset managers and investors, and resides in the Philadelphia area. He has two daughters; Claire, age 21, and Libby, age 23. He maintains his ties with the Phillies and is well known locally for his work on behalf of numerous charities.
- Burson, Rusty (2012). 100 Things Rangers Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die. United States: Triumph Books. p. 256. ISBN 1600786421.