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Ken Holcombe

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Kenneth Edward Holcombe

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11½", Weight 169 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Nineteen-year-old Ken Holcombe pitched for the Greensburg Green Sox of the Pennsylvania State Association in 1938. The young right-hander went 9-8 with a 3.21 ERA. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent in 1939. He won 14 and lost 12 for the Williamson Red Birds of the Mountain State League while pitching 218 innings that year.

Ken stayed in the Cardinals organization until before the 1941 season, when they sent him to the New York Yankees in an unknown transaction. Ken had three good years (1942-1944) with the Newark Bears of the International League. After winning 17 games in 1944, he made it to Yankee Stadium in 1945 and did some effective work out of the Yankee bullpen, going 3-3 with an excellent 1.80 ERA in 23 appearances.

Holcombe was back in the minors in 1946 with the Newark Bears and the Kansas City Blues but did not pitch well. On November 1st, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1946 Rule V Draft. The Pirates did not like what they got and sent Ken back to the Yankees where on April 15, 1947 he was purchased by the Sacramento Solons. Then, on November 10th, the Cincinnati Reds drafted Ken in the 1947 Rule V Draft.

1948 saw Holcombe with the Reds in two outings but on May 10th, they shipped him back to Sacramento. He was acquired by the Chicago White Sox in 1950 and had his best year in 1951, winning 11 games with a 3.78 ERA. His pitching career was set back by bursitis and he was gone from the big leagues with a record of 18-32 after wearing the uniforms of the St. Louis Browns in 1952 and the Boston Red Sox in 1953.

Ken wound up his 17-year (1938-1954) professional baseball career with the San Francisco Seals in 1954, at the age of 35, and won 10 and lost 10 with a 3.07 ERA, pitching 205 innings. He had a handsome minor league career, winning 133 times and losing 112 with a 3.64 ERA while pitching 2,084 innings.

After baseball, Holcombe was a supervisor for the Beacon Manufacturing company in Asheville, North Carolina, where he passed away in 2010 at age 91.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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