Fred Donald Bessent
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 175 lb.
- High School Robert E. Lee High School (Jacksonville)
- Debut July 17, 1955
- Final Game September 27, 1958
- Born March 13, 1931 in Jacksonville, FL USA
- Died July 7, 1990 in Jacksonville, FL USA
Don Bessent was signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees before the 1950 season and proceeded to go 22-7 with a 2.23 ERA for the class D LaGrange Troupers. In 1951 Don was with the class B Norfolk Tars and went 11-2 with a 2.04 ERA.
The following season he was unable to pitch because of a spinal condition and the Yankees gave up on him. The condition was corrected by bone graft surgery and the Brooklyn Dodgers drafted him on December 2, 1952, in the minor league draft.
The righthander proved to be an integral member of the Dodgers' 1955 World Series championship team following his recall from the St. Paul Saints in July of that year. Used exclusively in relief, he won three games in his first week in the majors and finished 8-1 in 24 games overall. In the World Series against the Yankees he didn't allow a run in three appearances out of the bullpen.
Don, whose ERA was the best on the Brooklyn staff in both 1955 and 1956 was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the 1956 World Series. He entered the game in the 3rd inning with the score tied 6-6 and held the Yankees to just two runs in the 13-8 victory. Overall he posted a 1.35 ERA in five series games against New York in the two years. But a shoulder injury cut short his promising 14-7 career after he pitched just briefly for the Dodgers in their first season in Los Angeles, CA in 1958.
Bessent spent twelve active seasons in pro ball from 1950 through 1962. His minor league stat sheet shows that he won 91 contests and lost only 62 for a .663 winning percentage. He appeared in 258 games, pitching 1,245 innings, giving up 1,206 base hits and 548 base on balls for a .397 ERA. His last tour of duty was in 1962 where he finished up with the Rochester Red Wings of the International League.