Saturday, August 11, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Thursday, March 12 1908 -- The Angel fans were out in force to see another exhibition game against the White Sox. Imagine how excited they were when, after five innings of play, the score stood at 1-0, Angels leading. The Angels' pitcher "Red" Randolph seemed practically unhittable, and the stands are going nuts at the prospect of beating the mighty ChiSox.

After five innings Randolph is taken out, having done a good day's work, and a new pitcher, Elmer Koestner, takes up the mantle. And of course everything goes straight to hell from there. Koestner can't seem to find the plate, and when he does, the Sox knock the pill all over the yard. When the dust clears, the Sox have beat the Angels 6-1.

The irony is that it would be Koestner who made it to the majors, while Randolph never got any further than the PCL. Looking at Koestner's stats, he was never very good at the major league level as a pitcher. His lifetime batting average of .315, on the other hand, you would think would have counted for something.


Koestner seems to have been used primarily as a reliever, as he was in the Angels game. In an era where good hitting pitchers were not uncommon (Walter Johnson, for one), and in an era where complete games with tired pitchers were the norm, it's not a huge surprise that he'd have a decent batting average. Might not have translated as such if he had been converted, a la Babe Ruth.
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