Earl P. Escalante
- Bats Right, Throws Right
Earl Escalante was a minor league pitcher in the 1940s and 1950s. He played briefly for the 1939 Mitchell Kernels, hitting .182, then next appeared with the San Jose Owls in 1942, posting a 6-7 record and a 2.49 ERA, the second-best in the California League. He made his way to AAA in 1943, appearing for the Portland Beavers and Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League and going 5-8 with a 3.57 ERA. In 1944 Escalante spent the year with Hollywood with a 10-14 record and a 4.10 ERA. After not appearing in 1945, he returned to Organized Baseball in 1946 with the Stars, San Diego Padres and Modesto Reds, with just a 3-9 mark. Escalante finally had a winning season with the 1947 San Jose Red Sox, as he went 16-11 with a 3.45 ERA. He was 5th in the California League in ERA and tied for 8th in victories. The next year Earl was not in Organized Baseball once again.
In 1949 Escalante returned to the California League with the Bakersfield Indians and dominated the circuit, winning 10 more games than any other pitcher with a 28-9 record for the Indians, helping them post the league's best record. His ERA that year was 2.85, 5th in the loop. The next year Escalante slipped to 16-20 with a 4.32 ERA, but the team's other pitchers were worse, posting a 45-59 record. He led the league in losses, tied for sixth in wins and worked 279 innings, 36 more than any other pitcher; he also allowed the most hits (305), runs (153) and earned runs (134) and pitched the most complete games (22).
With the Stockton Ports in 1951, Escalante was 19-15 with a 3.46 ERA as he remained a workhorse; he tied for fourth in the Cal League in victories. In 1952 he moved to the Pioneer League's Idaho Falls Russets, going 18-13 with a 4.13 ERA. He was second with 283 innings, allowed 283 hits (the most), tied for 4th in wins and allowed the most runs (143) and earned runs (130). He was 16-12 with a 3.83 ERA his second season with the Russets, tying for sixth in the Pioneer League in wins. He finished his playing career in familiar territory, going to the Salinas Packers of the Cal League and working a lot again, with an 18-18 record and a 2.93 ERA, completing a 7-year stretch in which he pitched a heck of a lot of innings. He tied for second in the circuit in both wins and losses and was around 7th in ERA.
Sources: 1951 and 1953 Baseball Guides, Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database