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Don Schwall
Schwall in 1962
Pitcher
Born: (1936-03-02) March 2, 1936 (age 87)
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 21, 1961, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
April 12, 1967, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record49–48
Earned run average3.72
Strikeouts408
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Donald Bernard Schwall (born March 2, 1936) is an American former professional baseball pitcher player who played seven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Initially drafted by the Boston Red Sox, he spent four seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, before ending his career with the Atlanta Braves.

Baseball career

Schwall was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He attended Ypsilanti High School and was selected an All-Big Eight basketball star at the University of Oklahoma in 1957. Schwall faced off against NBA Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain three times while playing for the Sooners, outscoring him 30-16 in his final showdown against him. Although he completed his coursework, a clerical error caused Schwall to never receive his degree. The oversight went unnoticed for decades until 2018 when at the age of 82, Schwall contacted the University of Oklahoma about it. The university acknowledged the oversight and had Schwall attend that year's graduation, 57 years late.[1] A year after his graduation, he signed with the Red Sox.

In 1961, Schwall posted a 15–7 record with 91 strikeouts and a 3.22 earned run average, for a Boston team that finished 33 games out of first place and ten games under .500. He won his first six decisions, extended the dazzling first-year stats to 13–2, and won Rookie of the Year honors, beating out Hall of Fame-bound teammate Carl Yastrzemski. Schwall was the second Red Sox player to be named the AL Rookie of the Year, joining Walter Dropo (1950), and later joined by Carlton Fisk (1972), Fred Lynn (1975), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), and Dustin Pedroia (2007). At Fenway Park, on July 31, he pitched three innings in the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history (1–1), occurred when the game was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain.

After a sub-par 1962 season (9–15), Schwall was sent to Pittsburgh. He and catcher Jim Pagliaroni were traded to the Pirates for first baseman Dick Stuart and pitcher Jack Lamabe. He went 6–12 in 1963, and later switched to a reliever, recording a career-best 2.92 ERA while winning nine games in 1965. The Pirates traded him to the Braves on June 15, 1966 for left-handed pitcher Billy O'Dell. Schwall finished his career with Atlanta early in the next season.

In seven seasons, Schwall compiled a 49–48 record with 408 strikeouts, a 3.72 ERA, 18 complete games, five shutouts, four saves, and 743 innings pitched in 172 games (103 as a starter).

Post-baseball career

After leaving baseball, Schwall pursued a career as an investment banker.[2] A friend of Bob Prince, Schwall managed Prince's charitable endeavors in the years after his death.[2] Schwall continued to pursue his college education after becoming a professional baseball player, but never received his degree.[2] In early 2018, he contacted the University of Oklahoma and was informed that he had completed his graduation requirements in 1961.[2] He attended the school's May 2018 graduation ceremonies and received his diploma.[2]

References

  1. ^ "Don Schwall". 14 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Collier, Gene (June 4, 2018). "Don Schwall's rich life comes full circle with college degree". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA.