|Born: March 10, 1942|
|Died: March 25, 2021 (aged 79)|
Iowa City, Iowa
|August 15, 1969, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1975, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Earned run average||3.04|
Thomas Eugene Hilgendorf (March 10, 1942 – March 25, 2021) was an American professional baseball player. He was a Major League relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies in 1969–1970 and 1972–1975.
Tom Hilgendorf was signed by the Cardinals as a free agent in 1960 after attending St. Mary's High School in Clinton, Iowa. It took until 1969 for him to make it to the major leagues when the Cardinals brought him up from the minors as a 27-year-old rookie. The left-hander made his debut against Atlanta.
He was traded to the Kansas City Royals, then on to Cleveland, where the fork-baller managed six saves and a 5–3 record for a team that did not win very many games — in fact, the Indians finished last that year of 1973 in the American League East Division.
The following year, he was involved in the infamous Ten Cent Beer Night on June 4, 1974, and was hit by a steel folding chair thrown by one of the drunk fans who took part in the riot that ended the Indians game in a forfeit. The next night he came on in relief in the Indians' rout of the Texas Rangers.
His best year was also his last year when he won 7 and lost 3 with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1975.
Hilgendorf died on March 25, 2021, at the age of 79 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa.
- "Thomas Hilgendorf Obituary - Visitation & Funeral Information". snellzornig.com. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball Reference, or Baseball Reference (Minors)