Bob Buhl
Bob Buhl 1964.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1928-08-12)August 12, 1928
Saginaw, Michigan
Died: February 16, 2001(2001-02-16) (aged 72)
Titusville, Florida
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 17, 1953, for the Milwaukee Braves
Last MLB appearance
April 30, 1967, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Win–loss record166–132
Earned run average3.55
Strikeouts1,268
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Robert Ray Buhl (August 12, 1928 – February 16, 2001) was an American right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played with the Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies.

A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Buhl attended Saginaw High School. In his 15-year professional career Buhl posted a 166–132 record with 1,288 strikeouts and a 3.55 ERA in 2,587 innings. He pitched 111 complete games and compiled 20 shutouts. He was first signed to a major league contract in 1953 by Milwaukee Braves scout Earle W. Halstead.

Buhl compiled an 8–1 record against the National League champion Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, en route to an 18-win season. He repeated as an 18-game winner the following year, helping the Braves capture NL pennants in both 1957 and 1958 as the third starter behind Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette.

1955 Bowman baseball card of Buhl
1955 Bowman baseball card of Buhl

In 1957, Buhl led the National League in winning percentage (.720), with an 18–7 record.

In 1959, Buhl won 15 games and led the National League with four shutouts. His most productive season came in 1960, when he finished with a 16–9 record, a 3.09 ERA and an All-Star berth.

In 1962, Buhl was traded to the Cubs after appearing in just one game for the Braves. He had 12 wins against 13 losses, a considerably better percentage than the 9th-place Cubs (59–103 .364) achieved overall that year.

He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966 in a deal that brought future Hall-of-Famer Ferguson Jenkins to Chicago.

In 1962, Buhl failed to get a hit in 70 at-bats, the worst single-season batting performance in major league history.[1] Baseball author Bill James named Buhl as the worst hitting pitcher of the 1950s.[2] For his career, Buhl had a batting average of .089, with just two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 857 at-bats, for a slugging percentage of .091.

Fellow pitcher Sal Maglie observed, "Buhl gets wild when he's hit a little."[3]

Buhl died in Titusville, Florida on February 16, 2001, just two days before the death of his Braves roommate Eddie Mathews.[4]

References

  1. ^ Sporting News Baseball Record Book, 2007, p. 19
  2. ^ James, Bill (11 May 2010). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon & Schuster. p. 227. ISBN 9781439106938.
  3. ^ Maglie, Sal (October 14, 1957). "Braves' New World". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  4. ^ "The Nevada Daily Mail - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.