Kenneth David “Ken” Raffensberger

Kenneth David “Ken” Raffensberger

Birth
York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 10 Nov 2002 (aged 85)
York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Graceland Section
Memorial ID 6922429 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. He played Major League baseball as a pitcher for 15 seasons (1939 to 1941, 1943 to 1954) with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds. Coming up with the Cardinals in 1939, he pitched exactly one inning with the team. The next year he joined the Cubs, appearing in 43 games (10 as starts) in a season where he finished with 7 wins and 9 losses. The next two years saw him spend a majority if his time in the minors, but was called up with the Phillies in 1943 as Major League teams sought to replace a number of stars who had joined the military. He pitched only one game for the Phillies in 1943, but became a regular in their starting rotation in 1944. That year saw him become the ace of a bad Phillies team that won 61 games and lost 92. He won 13 games and lost 20, but placed among the top 5 of NL Pitchers in Innings Pitched, Fewest Bases on Balls per game, and Strikeouts. Named as the Phillies lone representative to the baseball All-Star Game, he entered the Mid-Summer Classic in the fourth inning (becoming the first Phillie to ever pitch in the game). He pitched two innings of one-hit ball, then was the recipient of a 4-run fifth inning that sealed a 7 to 1 victory for the National League. Being the pitcher of record, he got the Win, becoming the only Phillie to win the All-Star game until reliever Doug Jones won the 1994 game, a span of 50 years (despite the fact that the Phillies had sent such pitchers as Robin Roberts, Curt Simmons, Jim Bunning, Chris Short and Steve Carlton to the game in the interim). In 1945 he missed most of the season when he joined the United States Navy at the tail end of World War II, but came back in 1946, pulling both starting and relieving duty (he led the NL with 6 saves). In 1947 he started off slow (2 wins and 6 losses), and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds with catcher Hugh Poland for catcher Al Lakeman in mid-season, partially because he refused to listen to manager Ben Chapman’s orders to throw at the Brooklyn Dodgers' Jackie Robinson. He would pitch for the Reds for the next 7 and a half seasons, and blossomed into an above average pitcher who had the misfortune to play with another bottom-dwelling team. From 1948 to 1952 he never won less than 11 games, but never loss less than 12. Still, he led the NL in shutouts in 1949 (5) and 1952 (6), and won 18 games in 1949 and 17 in 1952. After a sub-par 1953 season, and a brief appearance in the 1954 season, he retired. His career totals were 119 Wins – 154 Losses, 396 Games Pitched, 31 Shutouts, 16 Saves, 806 Strikeouts and a career 3.60 Earned Run Average. He related later in life that Cardinal great Stan Musial’s claim that he was the toughest pitcher he ever faced was his proudest accomplishment.

Bio by: RPD2



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: RPD2
  • Added: 12 Nov 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6922429
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Kenneth David “Ken” Raffensberger (8 Aug 1917–10 Nov 2002), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6922429, citing Mount Rose Cemetery, York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .