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Fred Gladding

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Fred Earl Gladding

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[edit] Biographical Information

Chunky Fred "The Bear" Gladding had a 13-year-career as a reliever, leading the National League in saves with 29 in 1969. He pitched for the Detroit Tigers from 1961 to 1967, but he was on the Houston Astros in 1968 when the Tigers went to the 1968 World Series. He stayed with the Astros until 1973.

A terrible hitter (even for a pitcher), he had only one hit in 63 at-bats, for a career batting average of .016. This is currently the lowest non-zero career batting average in major league history. Gladding's only hit was a single in the top of the 9th inning for the Astros against the New York Mets on July 30, 1969 off Ron Taylor. In this inning, the Astros scored 11 runs. Denis Menke and Jimmy Wynn each hit grand slams.

After his playing career ended, Gladding was a minor league instructor for the Detroit Tigers in 1974 and 1975 and the Tigers' major-league pitching coach from 1976 to 1978. He was later a minor league coach with the Cleveland Indians serving with the Tacoma Tugs in 1979. He would also coach in the Houston Astros system with the Asheville Tourists in 1986, the Columbus Astros in 1987 & 1988 and the Columbus Mudcats in 1989. In 1990 he rejoined the Indians organization with the Kinston Indians and stayed there for the 1991 season as well. He then became the pitching coach for the Columbus Red Stixx from 1992-1994.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL Saves Leader (1969)

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