Wednesday, June 18, 2008

#278 Ken Retzer

Here's the grand finale of the group of cards I received from Ed, so big thanks to him once again. Ken Retzer is a guy who paid his dues. After being signed by the Indians as an amateur free agent in 1954, the catcher toured the minor leagues until 1961, when he debuted with the Senators as a 27-year-old rookie. He hit .340 in his initial exposure to American League pitching, but from there it was a case of diminishing returns, as his batting average dropped each of the next three years. He bottomed out in 1964 at .094 before being shipped to the Twins in the winter. This was Ken's last baseball card, as he never played a single game in Minnesota. It would seem that he was sent back to the minors; the Twins sent him to Houston in April of 1966 and the Astros flipped him to Cleveland early the next year, bringing him full circle in pro baseball.

In his short time in the bigs, Ken apparently let his arm do most of the talking, throwing out 38.1% of would-be base stealers (48 of 126). He was also a tough strikeout, going down without contact only 50 times in 690 total at-bats, or once every 13.8 times at the dish.

Fun fact: Ken Retzer had Milt Pappas' number, homering four times in sixteen at-bats against the former Orioles' All-Star. That's once every four times to the plate, compared to a 49.2 AB/HR ratio for his entire career.


  1. Amazingly someone has an entire page devoted to Ken Retzer. Check out his moment in the sun with JFK.

  2. Crap, I don't think my links worked. Copy and paste required: