Wednesday, December 01, 2010

#462 Lew Krausse

#462 Lew Krausse
Topps chose a severely off-center photo of Lew Krausse; his left arm is barely in the shot at all. Maybe they wanted to make sure that the groundskeeper's house in the background made it onto the card.

Fun facts about Lew Krausse:

-His father, Lew Sr., pitched for the Philadelphia A's in 1931-1932, going 5-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games. He was the youngest player in the American League when he made his debut at age 19 on June 11, 1931.

-Born in Media, PA, Lew Jr. signed with the Athletics for a whopping $125,000 bonus out of Chester High School in 1961.

-Like father, like son: Lew was the youngest player in the league on June 16, 1961, when the 18-year-old made his first start for Kansas City. He walked five Angels that day, but allowed only three hits in a 4-0 shutout victory.

-He spent 1962, 1963, and much of the two subsequent seasons honing his craft in the minors before becoming a full-fledged member of the A's staff in 1966. The team's patient approach paid off: Pitching in 36 games (22 starts), Krausse led the club in wins (14-9 record) and finished ninth in the A.L. with a 2.99 ERA. His ratio of 0.4 home runs allowed per nine innings was tops in the league.

-Lew fell to Earth in 1967 with a 7-17 record, 6 saves, and 4.28 ERA. He was one of three Athletics to lose exactly 17 games - Jim Nash and Catfish Hunter were the others - and George Brunet and Steve Barber were the only American Leaguers to lose more than that.

-He rebounded to some degree with a 10-11 record and a 3.11 ERA in 1968, but his performance is less impressive when you consider that the league average ERA was 2.98 that year.

-Krausse was traded to the Seattle Pilots in January 1970. By Opening Day they had become the Milwaukee Brewers, but the new city and nickname did not change the fortunes of the team or the player. The Brewers lost 97 games and Krausse went 13-18 with a 4.75 ERA. Only Mickey Lolich (19 L's) outlost him.

-Lew reversed his fortunes in 1971 with a career-best 2.94 ERA that was the lowest among Milwaukee's ERA title qualifiers (minimum 162 IP). His W-L record was 8-12.

-The righthander also pitched for the Red Sox (1972), Cardinals (1973), and Braves (1974) in the mid-1970s. Curiously, he spent portions of the 1973-1975 seasons back in the Athletics organization, but never pitched a big league game for them in those years. He finished his career 68-91 with an ERA of 4.00 and 21 saves.

-Krausse is a member of the Delaware County (PA) Sports Hall of Fame.
#462 Lew Krausse (back)


  1. Kevin, I don't have the details handy but this was a mistake, that's not Lew Krausse in the picture.

  2. That's pretty weird that they got the wrong guy on the card. On the back of the card it says that we was signed by his father to a $125,000 contract by the A's. I imagine his father was a scout, but, considering Lew Jr's subsequent career, I wonder if they cross-checked with other scouts before giving him what was, in those days, an enormous amount of money.

  3. Do you mean they have PETE LOVRICH that fat signing bonus?!?


  4. Marc - The A's weren't exactly known for their largesse. I would assume they did due diligence on Lew Jr. Of course, nepotism has reigned in baseball for generations.