Appendix 1: Howie Fox: Baltimore’s Unique Oriole

This article was written by Herm Krabbenhoft

This article was published in the The National Pastime: A Bird’s-Eye View of Baltimore (2020)


This is the online appendix for Herm Krabbenhoft’s “Howie Fox: Baltimore’s Unique Oriole.”

Click on a link below to scroll down to that section:

 


[A-1] Where the 1953 Baltimore Orioles Played in 1954 — The Men Who Participated in the 1953 Playoffs

Twenty-one players participated in at least one playoff game for the Flock in the first round of the playoffs between the Baltimore Orioles and the Rochester Red Wings. One of them, Howie Fox, played with the 1954 Baltimore Orioles. Where the other twenty men played in 1954 is provided here:

  • Three 1953 Orioles (pitchers Bob Greenwood and Ron Mrozinski and outfielder Stan Jok) made it to the Big Show with the NL Phillies for 1954 season. (Jok, however, was placed on waivers after only three games. He was claimed by the White Sox but spent almost all of 1954 with their AA Memphis Chicks farm club in the Southern Association.)
  • Five 1953 Orioles players went to the International League’s Syracuse Chiefs (which became the new AAA farm club for the Phillies) — catcher Joe Lonnett, first baseman-outfielder John Mayo, second baseman Ralph Caballero, and pitchers Kent Peterson and Jack Sanford.
  • Eight players (third baseman Russell Kerns, catcher Martin Tabacheck, both first stringers, utility infielder Damon Phillips, outfielders Roy Weatherly and Marv Rackley (the Flock’s batting leader), and pitchers Ken Heintzelman, Dick Starr, and Jocko Thompson joined the Richmond Virginians, a brand new franchise which replaced Baltimore in the International League (but was not affiliated with a ML club).
  • First string outfielder Archie Wilson switched to Toronto (AAA International League) for 1954.
  • First string first baseman Jack Graham hooked up with the Modesto Reds (the Yankees Class C farm team in the California League) for 1954.
  • Backup shortstop Jack Lohrke joined the Hollywood Stars (the Pirates farm club in the Pacific Coast League).
  • Pitcher Tom Herrin hurled for the Boston Red Sox at the beginning of the 1954 season before being sent down to the Louisville Colonels (the AAA farm club of the Red Sox in the American Association) for rest of 1954.

 


[A-2] Where the 1953 Baltimore Orioles Played in 1954 — The Men Who Did Not Participate in the 1953 Playoffs

In addition to the 21 players who participated in at least one of the seven games in the end-of-the-1953-season playoff between the Baltimore Orioles and the Rochester Redwings, there were nine men who played for the 1953 Orioles, but did not finish the season with Baltimore (and, therefore, did not participate in any of the playoff games). Where each of them played in 1954 is provided here:

  • Charles (Buzz) Bowers [as reported in the June 1, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 26)] was optioned to the Schenectady Blue Jays (the single-A farm team of the Phillies in the Eastern League); he played with the Blue Jays for the rest of 1953 and all of 1954.
  • Ben Flowers [as reported in the June 11, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 41)] was recalled by the Boston Red Sox and played with Boston for the rest of 1953; he played with the Louisville Colonels (the AAA farm club of the Red Sox in the American Association) in 1954.
  • Ted Kazanski [as reported in the June 24, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 46)] was recalled by the Philadelphia Phillies and played with Philadelphia for the rest of 1953 and all of 1954.
  • Clyde Kluttz [as reported in the December 1, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 41)] was given his release in September, 1953 (having played his last game on August 24); he was the manager of the Savannah Indians (South Atlantic League) in 1954.
  • Al Lakeman [as shown on his Player Profile Page on the Retrosheet website] was traded to the Detroit Tigers on May 16, 1953 and played with their Buffalo Bisons AAA farm club in the International League for the rest of 1953; he played with Detroit (5 games) and Buffalo (92 games) in 1954.
  • Clarence (Cuddles) Marshall [as reported in the May 18, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 29)] was returned to the St. Louis Browns; he subsequently signed with the Hollywood Stars (Pacific Coast League) and appeared in four games with the Stars; according to the Baseball-Reference website, he did not play professional baseball in 1954.
  • Lou Possehl [as reported in the June 1, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 26)] was sent to the Terre Haute Phillies (the Class-B farm club of the Phillies in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League) and played in three games for them during the rest of 1953; he played with the Kansas City Blues (the AAA farm club of the New York Yankees in the American Association) in 1954.
  • Vern (Turkey) Taylor [as reported in the May 27, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 72)] was sold to the Oklahoma City Indians of the AA Texas League; he played for Oklahoma City for the rest of 1953 and all of 1954 (29 and 40 games, respectively).
  • Joe Tesauro [as reported in the April 28, 1953 edition of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun (page 28)] was sold to the Schenectady Blue Jays (the Single-A farm club of the Phillies in the Eastern League) and played with the Blue Jays the rest of 1953; he played with Syracuse Chiefs and Richmond Virginians (both teams in the AAA International League) in 1954 (68 and 26 games, respectively).

 


[B] Paths Followed by the Men Who Played for the Baltimore Orioles in Both the Minor and Major Leagues

Besides Howie Fox, there were five players who played for the minor league Baltimore Orioles (prior to 1953) and subsequently for the major league Baltimore Orioles. Here are the itineraries each of them followed to go from Baltimore to Baltimore.

[1] Bob Kuzava spent two seasons (1947 and 1948) with the Baltimore Orioles (Cleveland’s AAA farm club in the International League); he also played four games with the Indians at the tail-end of the 1947 campaign. On December 2, 1948 Kuzava was traded to the Chicago White Sox. On May 31, 1950 Kuzava was traded to the Washington Senators. On June 15, 1951 Kuzava was traded to the New York Yankees. On August 7, 1954, Kuzava was claimed on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles. He played for the O’s in both 1954 and 1955 (four games and six games, respectively) before being claimed on waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies on May 23, 1955.

[2] Joe Frazier began the 1949 season with the Baltimore Orioles (the Browns’ AAA farm club in the International League) but, after batting just .175 in 23 games, he was optioned on May 17 to the San Antonio Missions (the Browns’ AA farm club in the Texas League); he played with San Antonio the rest of 1949 and all of 1950. After beginning the 1951 season with the San Antonio Missions Frazier’s contract was purchased by the Memphis Chicks (the AA farm club of the Chicago White Sox in the Southern Association). After spending all of the 1952 and 1953 seasons with the AA Oklahoma City Indians (who were not affiliated with a major league team), Frazier was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on October 13, 1953. He then returned to the Big Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals for the 1954 and 1955 seasons. Then, in 1956, he played for three different ML teams — the St. Louis Cardinals (14 games) before he was traded to the Cincinnati Red Legs on May 16; after playing just ten games with Cincinnati his contract was sold to the Baltimore Orioles on June 24; Frazier played 45 games with the O’s, which concluded his major league career.

[3] Bobby Avila played in 56 games for the Baltimore Orioles (Cleveland’s AAA farm club in the International League) in 1948. Next, from 1949 through 1958 he played with the Cleveland Indians. Then, in 1959, he concluded his major league career by playing for three teams — The Baltimore Orioles (20 games), the Boston Red Sox (22 games), and the Milwaukee Braves (51 games). He got to Baltimore via a trade on December 2, 1958. He got to Boston on waivers on May 21, 1959. And, he got to Milwaukee on waivers on July 21, 1959.

[4] Bobby Young played for two teams in 1949 — 47 games with the Rochester Red Wings (the St. Louis Cardinals AAA farm team) and 81 games with the Baltimore Orioles (the St. Louis Browns’ AAA farm team), both teams being in the International League. The switch was due to a trade on June 11, 1949. Young also played for Baltimore in 1950 (140 games). From 1951 through 1953 Young played for the St. Louis Browns. And when the 1953 St. Louis Browns became the 1954 Baltimore Orioles, Young was one the 17 1953 Browns players who were on the Opening Day roster of the 1954 Orioles. Young played with the O’s for all of 1954 (127 games) and part of the 1955 season — after 59 games with Baltimore, he was traded to Cleveland on June 27, 1955. Young played in 18 games for Cleveland in 1955 and wrapped up his American League career with one game with the Indians in 1956.

[5] Jim Dyck played with two teams in 1950, first with the AAA Baltimore Orioles (but only for a dozen games) and then with AA San Antonio Missions (102 games). He also spent the 1951 season with San Antonio, except for a brief stint with the Browns at the end of the season, making his ML debut on September 27. He played full-time with the Browns in the 1952 and 1953 campaigns. And, he was with the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day in 1954. But, he didn’t play in that first game … or any of the next three games. And then, on April 17, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. So, while Dyck was with the Orioles in 1954, he was merely a phantom player since he didn’t actually play in any games. However, Cleveland immediately sent him down to the AAA Richmond Virginians of the International League before recalling him at the end of the season for a couple games. Dyck played with Cleveland’s AAA Indianapolis Indians in 1955 until his contract was sold to the Baltimore Orioles on July 16. He then played in 61 games with the O’s. He also played with the Orioles in 1956, but only for 11 games: his contract was sold to the Cincinnati Red Legs on May 11. He played in 18 games for Cincinnati, which concluded his ML career.

 


[C] Brief Summary of Howie Fox’s Professional Baseball Career

Howie Fox broke into organized baseball with the Cincinnati Reds’ single-A Birmingham Barons (Southern Association) in 1943, turning in a 14-17 won-loss ledger with a 4.83 earned run average. In his next season, also with the Barons, Fox produced a league-leading 2.71 ERA and a 19-10 W-L record, which earned him a late-season call-up with the Reds.

He made his major league debut on September 17, 1944, in the first game of a twin bill against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. With Cincinnati trailing, 1-7, Fox pitched the eighth inning, yielding an infield single to the first batter he faced, Babe Dahlgren (who was retired at second trying to take an extra base). Fox then retired the next two batters, Frankie Gustine and Al Lopez.

In his second and final mound appearance in 1944, on September 28 against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, he hurled 1.1 innings in relief, giving up a single to Augie Galan before setting down the next four batters (Dixie Walker, Howie Schultz, Bobby Bragan, and Eddie Stanky).

After spending the entire 1945 season with Cincinnati (turning in an 8-13 W-L ledger with a 4.93 ERA), Fox had a difficult season in 1946. After his first mound appearance on April 24, he missed the next six weeks as a consequence of an appendectomy. After his return he was ineffective in three relief appearances and was optioned to the Syracuse Chiefs, the Reds AAA farm club in the International League, where he did well (4-1 W-L, 3.71 ERA) until he suffered a broken arm during the first game of the first playoff round against Baltimore.

But Fox roared back in 1947, posting a sterling 19-9 W-L record and a 2.68 ERA (which ranked fourth) that helped the Syracuse Chiefs achieve a third-place finish and a trip to the playoffs. In the first round, against the runner-up Montreal Royals, Fox won two games as the Chiefs advanced to the second round against Buffalo. Fox faced the Bisons in three games, losing once with two no-decisions, as Syracuse prevailed to win the Governor’s Cup four games to three and advance to the Junior World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association. Fox won his two starts against the Brewers, but lost once in a relief assignment as Milwaukee won the JWS trophy.

Thanks to his impressive overall 23-11 W-L performance in 1947, Fox was back to the big leagues in 1948 and he remained there for the next five years. With Cincinnati (1948-1951) he achieved the following W-L records: 6-9, 6-19, 11-8, and 9-14, respectively. On December 10, 1951, Fox was traded (along with Connie Ryan and Smokey Burgess) to the Philadelphia Phillies (for Andy Seminick, Eddie Pellagrini, Dick Sisler, and Niles Jordan). Fox compiled a 2-7 ledger with Philadelphia in 1952.

As detailed in the main article, Fox played with the minor league Baltimore Orioles in 1953 and the major league Baltimore Orioles in 1954. He concluded his professional baseball career in 1955 with the San Antonio Missions (Baltimore’s AA farm club in the Texas League) — 29 games (ten of which were starting assignments; his won-loss record was 3-8 and his ERA was 3.89 in 104 innings pitched.

 


[D] Howie Fox’s Game-by-Game Pitching Record with the 1953 Baltimore Orioles

Date

OPP

IP (R)

H

W

SO

R/ER

W/L (#)

APR-26 (1)

TOR

1.1

2

3

2

5/?

— –

MAY-08 (1)

SYR*

6.0

8

6

7

?/?

W (1)

MAY-12

SYR

6.0 (R)

2

2

2

0/0

W (2)

MAY 14

SYR

2.1 (R)

1

2

3

0/0

MAY-16

ROC

5.1

5

4

0

3/3

L (1)

MAY-20

MON*

6.1

6

4

2

5/?

— –

MAY-24 (2)

BUF*

4.0

3

1

3

2/?

— –

MAY-29

OTT

9.0*

6

0

6

2/2

W (3)

JUN-04

SPR*

8.0*

3

3

6

3/3

L (2)

JUN-08

TOR*

9.0*

7

3

3

2/1

W (4)

JUN-13 (2)

SYR

9.0*

7

3

4

2/?

W (5)

JUN-17 (2)

ROC

2.2

7

0

1

6/?

L (3)

JUN-19 (1)

OTT

1.1

5

1

0

5/?

L (4)

JUN-23 (2)

BUF*

9.0*

6

3

4

4/?

W (6)

JUN-27

MON*

8.0*

7

2

2

3/3

L (5)

JUL-01 (2)

OTT*

7.0*

6

2

1

3/?

L (6)

JUL-05

SPR*

9.0*

9

0

2

3/?

W (7)

JUL-10 (1)

BUF*

7.0*

3

3

4

1/0

L (7)

JUL-15

SPR

8.1

6

2

4

1/1

W (8)

JUL-17

MON

1.2 (R)

1

1

0

0/0

— –

JUL-20

ROC*

5.0

7

2

2

5/5

L (8)

JUL-26 (1)

SYR*

5.2

5

7

0

5/?

— –

JUL-28

SPR*

2.0 (R)

2

1

2

1/1

— –

AUG — 5

OTT

9.0*

7

2

6

1/1

W (9)

AUG-09 (2)

TOR

7.0*

4

1

2

0/0

W (10)

AUG-14 (1)

TOR

6.0

7

3

1

1/0

W (11)

AUG-17

MON

7.1

8

2

4

4/4

— –

AUG-21 (1)

OTT

6.0

11

4

3

10/?

L (9)

AUG-25

BUF

9.0*

8

1

3

4/2

W (12)

AUG-30 (1)

TOR*

6.0

10

4

2

3/2

W (13)

SEP-03

SYR*

6.0

7

1

2

3/3

W (14)

SEP-07 (1)

SPR

7.2

7

0

4

2/?

W (15)

SEP-10

SPR

1.0 (R)

3

0

0

1/1

— –

SEP-11 (2)

ROC*

7.0

6

3

4

3/3

L (10)

SEP-15

ROC*

6.2

7

4

3

1/1

— –

SEP-19

ROC

7.0

8

2

2

5/5

L

NOTES: (1) All of the statistics were obtained from the box scores provided in game accounts published in The Baltimore Sun, The Sporting News, as well as in the newspapers of the opposing teams. (2) An asterisk in the OPP column entry indicates that the game was played at the opponent’s home field. (3) A parenthetical (R) in the IP column indicates that Fox was a relief pitcher; an asterisk in the IP column indicates that Fox pitched a complete game. (4) Because the newspaper box scores did not provide R/ER statistics, the entries in the R/ER column were ascertained from the text descriptions; for those games for which it was not possible to ascertain the R/ER numbers, question marks are shown. (5) The parenthetical number given in the W/L column indicates the cumulative Win or Loss number. (6) The games on SEP-15 and SEP-19 were Playoff Games.

 


[E] Opening Day Player Roster for the 1954 Baltimore Orioles

Player (#) [POS}

1953 Club (League)

Player (#) [POS]

1953 Club (League)

Neil Berry (2) [IF]

Chicago White Sox (AL)

Lou Kretlow (23) [P]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Vern Bickford (24) [P]

Milwaukee Braves (NL)

Dick Kryhoski (8) [IF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Mike Blyzka (34) [P]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Don Larsen (27) [P]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Gil Coan (16) [OF]

Washington Senators (AL)

Don Lenhardt (14) [OF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Joe Coleman (35) [P]

Philadelphia Athletics (AL)

Dick Littlefield (18) [P]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Clint Courtney (11) [C]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Sam Mele (15) [OF]

Chicago White Sox (AL)

Chuck Diering (32) [OF]

Minneapolis Millers (AA)

Les Moss (10) [C]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Jim Dyck (7) [IF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Ray Murray (9) [C]

Philadelphia Athletics (AL)

Howie Fox (37) [P]

Baltimore Orioles (IL)

Duane Pillette (28) [P]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Jim Fridley (21) [OF]

San Antonio Missions (TL)

Carlton Post (43) [P]

Toronto Maple Leafs (IL)

Chico Garcia (1) [IF]

Shreveport Sports (TL)

Vern Stephens (4) [IF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Jay Heard (38) [P]

Portland Beavers (PCL)

Marlin Stuart (26) [P]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Billy Hunter (6) [IF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Bob Turley (33) [P]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Darrell Johnson (12) [C]

Memphis Chicks (SA)

Eddie Waitkus (3) [IF]

Philadelphia Phillies (NL)

Dick Kokos (22) [OF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Vic Wertz (20) [OF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

Dave Koslo (39) [P]

New York Giants (NL)

Bobby Young (5) [IF]

St. Louis Browns (AL)

NOTES: The above roster information information was transcribed from the “Orioles’ Roster and Playing Records” and “Orioles Numbers” presented in The (Baltimore) Evening Sun, April 15, 1954 (page 58).

 


[F] Howie Fox’s Game-by-Game Pitching Record with the 1954 Baltimore Orioles

Date

OPP

IP

H

W

SO

R/ER

W/L/SV (#)

APR-17

DET

1.0

0

1

2

0/0

— –

APR-25 (2)

CHI*

1.1

2

4

1

2/2

L (1)

MA&-08

CLE

2

1

0

0

0/0

— –

MAY-10

PHI

2

2

0

1

1/1

W (1)

MAY-13

BOS

4.2

5

0

3

3/2

— –

MAY-27

DET*

2

4

1

1

3/2

— –

JUN-04

PHI*

2.1

3

2

0

0/0

— –

JUN-09

BOS*

1.0

0

1

2

0/0

— –

JUN-12

WAS*

1.0

0

1

1

0/0

SV (1)

JUN-13

WAS*

2.2

2

0

1

1/1

SV (2)

JUN-15

NYY

2.0

1

0

3

0/0

— –

JUN-17

NYY

1.1

2

0

1

0/0

— –

JUN-19

WAS

0.2

0

2

0

0/0

— –

JUN-20 (2)

WAS

0.0

3

0

0

2/2

— –

JUN-23

BOS

6.1

8

3

1

0/0

— –

JUL-06

CLE*

1.0

0

0

0

0/0

— –

JUL-07

CLE*

6.0

5

1

2

0/0

— –

JUL-10

DET*

1.0

0

0

0

0/0

— –

JUL-17

NYY*

1.0

1

0

0

0/0

— –

JUL-18

BOS*

1.0

1

1

1

0/0

— –

JUL-19 (1)

BOS*

2.2

1

4

0

3/3

— –

JUL 22

WAS*

0.0

`1

0

0

0/0

— –

JUL-24

PHI*

1.0

0

0

1

0/0

— –

JUL-25 (2)

PHI*

1.0

2

1

0

1/1

— –

JUL-31

NYY

2.0

4

1

2

2/2

— –

AUG-01 (1)

NYY

1.0

0

0

0

0/0

— –

AUG-03

PHI

4.0

1

1

0

0/0

— –

AUG-11

CHI*

1.0

1

0

0

0/0

— –

AUG-13

CLE*

7.2

9

4

1

4/4

— –

AUG-20

CLE

2.0

3

1

0

1/1

— –

AUG-22

CLE

0.2

2

1

1

1/1

— –

AUG-24

NYY*

2.0

2

1

1

3/3

— –

AUG-31 (2)

PHI*

0.1

0

0

1

0/0

— –

SEP-03

DET*

2.0

3

2

1

1/0

L (2)

SEP-06 (1)

CLE

2.0

7

1

1

2/2

— –

SEP-12 (2)

PHI

0.0

0

2

0

0/0

— –

SEP-20

DET

2.0

1

0

0

0/0

— –

SEP-25

CHI

2.0

3

0

0

2/2

— –

NOTE: All of the statistics were taken from Retrosheet’s Player Daily File for Howie Fox.

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