Note: This page for 1950s pitcher John Briggs; for outfielder John "Johnny" Briggs, click here.
Jonathan Tift Briggs
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 175 lb.
- High School Folsom High School
- Debut April 17, 1956
- Final Game September 4, 1960
- Born January 24, 1934 in Natoma, CA USA
- Died December 25, 2018 in Murphys, CA USA
Just out of high school in 1952 John Briggs was a promising righthander who threw a no-hitter for the Idaho Falls Russets of the Pioneer League in his first season in pro ball. He wound up that first year winning 13 and losing 11 with a 4.40 ERA. The 19-year-old was back with the same club in 1953, going 10-8 with a 4.58 ERA.
Briggs turned up in the class A Western International League with the Salem Senators when the Philadelphia Phillies obtained him from Idaho Falls before the 1954 season. John came up with a 20-win, 8-loss season, with a league-leading 2.50 ERA and 233 strikeouts. He was also chosen for the All-Star team.
He was with the Pacific Coast League's Sacramento Solons in 1955 where he won 15 and lost 15 and had a 3.44 ERA. In late September of that year, Sacramento traded John, along with Richie Myers, to the Chicago Cubs for Bubba Church and Joe Stanka. Briggs appeared in only 3 games for Chicago in 1956 and was dispatched back to the PCL and the Los Angeles Angels, where he went 5-5 with a 5.63 ERA.
From 1957 through 1960, John split time between the majors and the minors on a yearly basis. He was with the Cubs parts of 1956 through 1958, the Cleveland Indians in 1959 and 1960 and lastly the Kansas City Athletics in 1960 also. He wound up with a 9-11 major league record with an even 5.00 ERA in 59 games.
Briggs had one career save. It came on May 30, 1960 for the Indians against the Chicago White Sox. He relieved Barry Latman with the Indians ahead, 9-4, in the 8th and got Sherm Lollar to hit into a double play and then finished out the game as Latman got the win.
Briggs was with several minor league teams during this time and wound up his pro career in 1962 going 4-4 with the PCL San Diego Padres. John had 11 active seasons from 1952 through 1962 and his minor league career was nothing to be ashamed of. He made 252 appearances, winning 96 while losing 72, pitching 1482 innings, allowing 1374 base hits and 759 base on balls with a 3.70 ERA.
After his baseball career ended he became a warehouse manager for Sears, as later resided in Natoma, CA.