Don Lohse

From BR Bullpen

Donald Edward Lohse

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Don Lohse made history when he was the first player selected in the first January amateur draft, held on January 29, 1966. He was selected by the Kansas City Athletics from Indiana University; the Athletics had also selected first in the first amateur draft to be held, the previous June. Contrary to the A's selection that day, Rick Monday, Lohse never made the majors.

He started off his career well, going 10-6, 2.42 in 25 games as a starting pitcher for the Leesburg A's of the Florida State League in 1966. On August 23rd, he pitched a seven-inning no-hitter in defeating the Winter Haven Sun Sox, 2-0 in what was the highlight of his career. However, in 1967, he struggled with the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League, going 2-6, 5.07 in 15 games and walking 54 batters (against 39 strikeouts) in 71 innings. Things went from bad to worse in 1968, as he fell to 1-12, 5.56 between Peninsula and the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League. Control was still an issue, with 83 walks and 73 strikeouts in 102 innings. In 1969, he was still in Class A, this time with the Lodi Crushers of the California League, , but went 2-6, 8.53 in 27 games as he was largely relegated to the bullpen. He now walked 43 batters in 49 innings, as his control issues were if anything getting worse. Strangely, in spite of his lack of success, he played his only games at AA in 1970, with 4 appearances for the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League; his 3.86 ERA belied the fact that he allowed 7 hits and 5 walks in 7 innings. Overall, he went 15-30 in his 5 seasons.

He died very young, passing away in 1975 aged only 29. Lohse had been in a coma for 4½ years after being hit by a truck in May 1971 at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. He had been a member of the Army Reserve at the time [1].

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