August 13, 1959 |
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
|August 15, 1981, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 20, 1990, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||3.29|
|Career highlights and awards|
Thomas Edward Niedenfuer (born August 13, 1959), is a retired American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. Niedenfuer played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners, and the St. Louis Cardinals, and was exclusively a reliever during his 10-year career.
A native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Niedenfuer attended high school in Redmond, Washington. He was a standout pitcher in college for the Washington State Cougars under coach Bobo Brayton. He left school before completing his senior season.
As a rookie in the strike-shortened 1981 season, Niedenfuer appeared in only 17 games for the Dodgers, but he excelled in the 1981 World Series, pitching five innings in two games and allowing no runs as the Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees.
His best all-around year was 1983, when he pitched in a career-high 66 games and posted an 8-3 record with 11 saves and a 1.90 earned run average. In 1985 he went 7-9, but posted career highs in saves with 19 and innings pitched with 106.1 with a fine 2.71 ERA. In the 1985 National League Championship Series, he gave up a walk-off home run to Ozzie Smith in Game 5 that gave the St. Louis Cardinals a Game 5 victory over the Dodgers. Two days later, he was victimized by a Jack Clark home run that gave the Cardinals the series win.
In 1987, during his seventh season with the Dodgers, he went 1-0 with a 2.76 ERA in 15 games before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles. He struggled in the American League the rest of the season, with a 4.99 ERA in 45 games. He improved in 1988, posting a 3.51 ERA with 18 saves.
After the 1988 season, he became a free agent, spending one season each with the Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals, going a combined 0-9 before retiring following the 1990 season with 484 career games pitched.
Tom Niedenfuer is married to actress Judy Landers since November 1987, and they have resided in Sarasota, Florida, since 1996. They have two daughters, Lindsey and Kristy, who own and operate an event-planning company and are also in a pop music band together.
- "Washington State University Baseball Players Who Made It to the Major Leagues". Baseball-Almanac.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- Crowe, Jerry (10 October 2010). "Tom Niedenfuer remembers but doesn't dwell on fateful pitches". Los Angeles Times.
- Bell, Christopher. Scapegoats: Baseballers Whose Careers Are Marked By One Fateful Play. (McFarland and Company, 2002).