Robert Lee Mabe
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
- Debut April 18, 1958
- Final Game May 5, 1960
- Born October 8, 1929 in Danville, VA USA
- Died January 9, 2005 in Danville, VA USA
Right-hander Bob Mabe was originally with the Chicago Cubs organization in the early 1950s but was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Reidsville Luckies of the Carolina League on December 1, 1953 in the minor league draft. He helped the Houston Buffaloes win the 1955 Texas League pennant with a mark of 16-10 and a 3.31 ERA.
Mabe's name got on the news wires when he surrendered a 500-foot home run to Mickey Mantle in an exhibition game in St. Petersburg, FL on May 20, 1956. Unfazed, he then won 21 games for Houston that season, leading the league in victories, strikeouts (195), and an ERA of 2.10. Bob won three more times in postseason play, leading Houston to the 1956 Dixie Series Championship. Bob was 6-1 with the Omaha Cardinals of the American Association when he joined the Cardinals' 1958 starting rotation in July. Mabe recalls pitching well but losing his first three starts. "I had three straight complete games but lost 2-1 to Bob Purkey of the Cincinnati Redlegs, 2-1 to Carl Willey of the Milwaukee Braves and 2-0 to Ron Kline of the Pittsburgh Pirates."
Mabe finally got his first win in St. Louis when he beat Purkey and Cincinnati, 4-2. He finished out the year 3-9 and was traded by the Cardinals on October 3rd, along with Del Ennis and Eddie Kasko, to the Cincinnati Redlegs for George Crowe, Alex Grammas and Alex Kellner. Bob worked out of the Cincinnati bullpen in 1959, going 4-2 with 3 saves in 18 games. Mabe was also with the Baltimore Orioles in two games in 1960 and rolled a 7-11 record in 51 games lifetime in the big leagues.
Mabe had spent 10 seasons in pro baseball (1950-1960), most of it in the minors, and built a minor league record of 93-70 with a 3.32 ERA, while appearing in 224 contests. After baseball Bob went to work in the sporting goods department for K-Mart as a district manager, covering three states, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina until 1996. He then retired to his native Danville, VA, where he died on January 9, 2005.