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From BR Bullpen
Donald Eugene Liddle, Sr. (Butch,Little)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5 '9½, Weight 165 lb.
- Debut April 17, 1953
- Final Game September 19, 1956
- Born May 25, 1925 in Mount Carmel, IL USA
- Died June 5, 2000 in Mount Carmel, IL USA
 Biographical Information
Don Liddle (pronounced LID-ul) was a pitcher 12 years (1946-1957), four in the Majors (1953-1956) and eight in the minors (1946-1952 and 1957). He was born on May 25, 1925, in Mount Carmel, IL. He graduated from High School in 1943 at age 18 and was in the Navy during World War II (TSN). He broke into Organized Baseball in 1946 at age 20 with Auburn in the Border League.
Scouted by Bob Coleman of the Boston Braves, before the 1947 season was sent from Auburn to Boston in an unknown transaction. He pitched for Evansville in the Three-I League and Mt. Vernon in the Illinois State League in 1947. He married Margaret Ruth Thompson on February 22, 1948. He played for Pawtucket in the New England League (1948-1949); Hartford in the Eastern League (1949); the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association (1950); the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association (1950-1951); and the Brewers again (1951-1952). The 160-lb lefthander was inevitably called Little Liddle. In 1952, he went 17-4, winning two legs of the pitching Triple Crown with a 2.70 ERA and 159 strikeouts. He also led the AA in winning percentage (.810) and shutouts (5).
Liddle was 27 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 17, 1953, with the Milwaukee Braves. On May 25, 1953, the Braves took the opening game of a doubleheader over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5–1, behind Liddle.
On February 1, 1954 he was traded by the Braves with Johnny Antonelli, Billy Klaus, Ebba St. Claire and $50,000 to the New York Giants for Bobby Thomson and Sam Calderone. He pitched for the New York Giants from 1954 to 1956. On September 24, 1954 Philadelphia Phillies Murry Dickson lost his 20th game of the season 1-0 to New York's Liddle. On October 2, 1954 in game 4 of the World Series, the Giants completed a sweep the American League team with the best record in history, as they scored 4 runs in the 5th to take a 7-0 lead. The final score was 7-4 as Liddle, who started the game, defeated Bob Lemon. The Giants won their first world championship since 1933. Liddle was also on the mound in Game One of the Series in the Polo Grounds when Willie Mays made his famous over-the-shoulder catch, running down a 460-foot fly ball hit by Vic Wertz of Cleveland. Liddle had been summoned by Giants manager Leo Durocher in what we would now call a LOOGY role, to relieve Sal Maglie, specifically to face Wertz. When fellow reliever Marv Grissom came to the mound to replace him after Mays's spectacular catch, Liddle allegedly said, "I got my man".
On June 14, 1956 he was traded by the Giants with Alvin Dark, Ray Katt and Whitey Lockman to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later, Dick Littlefield, Jackie Brandt, Red Schoendienst and Bill Sarni. The Cardinals sent Gordon Jones (October 1, 1956) to the Giants to complete the trade. He played with St. Louis for the remainder of 1956 where he played his final MLB game on September 19, 1956 at age 31.
He returned to the minors with Omaha in the American Association in (1957), ending his baseball career at age 32.
In his four years in the majors with the Braves, Giants and Cardinals, he compiled a 28-18, 3.75 record. In 1954, his best year in MLB, he was (9-4) with 4 complete games in 19 games started, 4 games finished, 44 strikeouts, 55 walks and 3 shutouts in 126 ⅔ innings pitched with an ERA of 3.06 and a WHIP of 1.224 in 28 games. Overall in the minors (excluding 1957), he was (74-43) with 910 strikeouts and 518 walks in 1065⅔ innings pitched with an ERA of 3.54 and a WHIP of 1.376 in 224 games.
After leaving baseball, Liddle worked at the local Elks Club, owned a service station, sold insurance, and then went to work at the Snap-On Tools factory. He stayed there for 22 years, 18 as a supervisor. He was instrumental in his community's construction of a new ballpark for its youth baseball program. He had light brown hair and blue eyes, his ancestry was English-German and his principal hobbies were golf and hunting.
He died at age 75 in Mount Carmel from lung cancer on June 5, 2000 and is buried at Highland Memorial Cemetery in Mount Carmel. Liddle's wife, Margaret, died in 1996. Survivors included sons Craig, Donald Jr., Kevin and Kim, daughter Tamara, one sister, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
 Career Highlights
- Led Illinois State League in strikeouts (190), 1947
- Led American Association in Winning Percentage (.810), strikeouts (159) and ERA (2.70) to win two legs of the pitching triple crown
 Notable Achievement
Principal sources for Don Liddle include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (1954-1956) (WW), old Baseball Registers (1954-1956) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) ; The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961 by Marshall D. Wright; The American Association: Year-By-Year Statistics for the Baseball Minor League, 1902-1952 by Marshall D. Wright; and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.
 Related Sites
- Don Liddle at wikipedia
- Don Liddle on Retrosheet
- Don Liddle at the Baseball Almanac
- Bio at Baseball Page
- The Baseball Chronology for Don Liddle
- THE CATCH
- 1952 Milwaukee Brewers
- Don Liddle at Historic Baseball
- Also see obituary at Don Liddle obituary
- and a full Bibliography from SABR's The Baseball Index (TBI)