Chapman: The major-league pitcher from Lowestoft who fell on hard times

From Thomas Chapman at the Lowestoft Journal on April 3, 2019, with mention of SABR member Doug Gladstone:

Lowestoft is not exactly famed for producing Major League Baseball stars. But now a little known son of the seaside town is at the centre of a scandal sweeping the US sport.

Born in 1946, Les Rohr spent the first six months of his life on the Suffolk coast – where his father was serving with the U.S. Air Force – before moving to Billings, Montana. Rated as a talented left-handed baseball pitcher, Rohr was chosen second overall by the New York Mets in the 1965 MLB draft. And yet, despite striking out six hitters on debut, his career went downhill when he suffered an elbow injury during an epic contest against Houston Astros in 1968.


Doug Gladstone, a freelance magazine writer, has been leading the charge to get former players such as Rohr, now 73, the money they deserve.

“Prior to 1980, you needed four years of service to be eligible for an MLB pension,” said Mr Gladstone. “Since 1980, all you’ve needed is 43 game days on an active team roster. The players’ union either refused or forgot to ask for retroactivity for unfortunate souls like Rohr, who had more than 43 game days but less than four years.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 3, 2019. Last Updated: April 3, 2019.