Bob Kuzava

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Robert Leroy Kuzava

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bob Kuzava pitched 17 seasons, 1941 to 1960, ten in the Major Leagues and ten in the minors, losing three years to the Military. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II where he rose to the rank of Sergeant (1943-1945) (BR).

Kuzava was signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent by scout Jack Bracken in 1941. He pitched for the Indians, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals from 1946 to 1957. With Charleston in the Middle Atlantic League in 1942, he was 21-6 with an ERA of 1.72.

After the War, he tried unsuccessfully to crack the Indians' rotation but was shipped back to the minors. Traded to the White Sox, he went 10-6 as a rookie in 1949. By mid-1951, he was a Yankee spot starter and long reliever, going 11-7. In the final game of the 1951 World Series, he retired the New York Giants with the bases loaded to record a save, and in Game 7 of the 1952 Series, he set down the last eight Brooklyn Dodgers for another. The latter performance was especially notable: lefthanders weren't supposed to be able to beat the Dodgers, who featured a righthanded lineup with the exception of Duke Snider, especially not in Ebbets Field. But manager Casey Stengel played his hunch and proved correct.

In a rare 1953 start, on August 8th, he lost a no-hitter against the White Sox with one out in the 9th (MC): he gave up only Bob Boyd's double in the 9th, then on August 17th, he shut out the Philadelphia Athletics, 9-0, allowing 11 hits along the way. Those were the last two of seven career shutouts.

He finished his professional playing career with the Charleston White Sox in 1960 and was the last of three managers of the Sally League team that year.

Notable Achievements[edit]


Principal sources for Bob Kuzava include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs {{{WW}}} (WW), old Baseball Registers {{{BR}}} (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN {{{DAG}}} (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) {{{MORE}}} and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

Related Sites[edit]