Position players earning wins as pitchers

Wilson Valdez shifted over from second base and wound up as the winning pitcher last night when the Phillies needed 19 innings to outlast Reds 5-4. Valdez (1-0) became the first position player to become a winning pitcher since Colorado catcher Brent Mayne accomplished the feat on August 22, 2000, STATS LLC said. Mayne went one inning in a 7-6 victory over Atlanta in 12 innings.

Former Cedar Rapids Indians alum Rocky Colavito (1952) still holds the honor of being the last American League position player to earn a win. Colavito pitched and won a game for the New York Yankees. In the first game of an August 25, 1968 doubleheader in Yankee Stadium, Colavito was the winning pitcher in a 6-5 Yankee triumph over the Tigers. Colavito entered the game in the fourth inning, relieving starter Steve Barber. In 2 2/3 innings of work, Colavito allowed no runs on 1 hit, struck out one Tiger batter and walked two. He was the last non-pitcher to win a major league game until catcher Brent Mayne won a game for the Colorado Rockies in 2000 and now Wilson Valdez has replaced Mayne.

Colavito actually made one previous appearance on the mound. On August 13, 1958, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, Colavito closed the game for the Cleveland Indians with three scoreless innings without allowing a hit. Colavito struck out one batter and walked three. The Indians lost the game 3-2, but Colavito did not figure in the decision.

4 Comments

I was at that game. If I’m not mistaken, Bill Robinson hit a 2 run double in the bottom of the 5th to give the Yankees a 6-5 lead and that’s how Rocky Colavito got the win.

Pretty good memory. I only have resources like retrosheet.org and baseballreference.com to look up some of these fun facts / feats. Here is the box score from the game from RetroSheet.org if you were interested:

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1968/B08251NYA1968.htm

They have it happening in the 6th inning but exactly the way you describe it.

Reblogged this on The Sprouting News and commented:

Earlier today, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles became the first position player in the American League to earn a win on the mound since Rocky Colavito (Cedar Rapids Indians 1952) achieved the feat pitching for the New York Yankees back on August 25, 1968.

Wow nice post. Really great blog. I was wondering if you could check out my blog. Come and see an 11 year old’s view on all things baseball. Please offer any advice that you may have.
-David

http://bleacherboy.wordpress.com/

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