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Rick Mahler

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Richard Keith Mahler

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Rick Mahler was a mainstay in the Atlanta Braves rotation for much of the 1980s and won 96 games over his career. During his career, he was the Opening Day starter for the Braves five times and threw shutouts on Opening Day three times.

The brother of Mickey Mahler, Rick was signed as a free agent by Atlanta and scout Al LaMacchia on June 16, 1975. He made his pro debut that summer with the Kingsport Braves and reached the majors early in the 1979 campaign. After splitting time between Atlanta and the AAA Richmond Braves, he joined the Atlanta rotation late in the 1981 season. He started 1982 with a bang, hurling a two-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres on Opening Day and then blanking the Houston Astros in his next outing. Overall, he went 9-10 that year and made one relief appearance in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals.

After spending most of 1983 in the minors with Richmond, Mahler was back in Atlanta in 1984 and went 13-10 with a 3.12 ERA. The next year, he won a career-best 17 games while losing 15 and leading the National League with 272 hits allowed. On Opening Day 1986, he shut out the Montreal Expos, but he went on to lead the NL with 18 losses that summer. The following season, 1987, he held the Philadelphia Phillies scoreless in the Braves' opener.

Following the 1988 season, Mahler became a free agent and signed with the Cincinnati Reds. After two years in Cincinnati and a brief stint with the Montreal Expos, he ended his career back in a Braves uniform in 1991.

During his career, Mahler lost at least 15 games three times. Four times, he led the NL in hits allowed, and twice he paced the circuit in earned runs given up. He was regarded as a good fielder, and he hit fairly well for a pitcher, posting a .179 batting average on his career.

After his playing career, Mahler was a minor league manager and coach. He was the pitching coach for the 1999 Kane County Cougars. He died of a heart attack at age 51 during spring training 2005. At the time of his death, he was a minor league pitching coach for the New York Mets.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1985)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1982, 1984-1986, 1988 & 1989)
  • Won a World Series with the Cincinnati Reds in 1990 (he did not play in the World Series)

[edit] Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1996 Arkansas Travelers Texas League 67-73 7th St. Louis Cardinals
1997 Arkansas Travelers Texas League 68-72 4th St. Louis Cardinals

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