Kenneth Allen Beardslee
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- High School Vermontville High School
Ken Beardslee set national high school records, then pitched six years in the minor leagues (going 41-28). He later scouted for 20 years.
Beardslee was a high school superstar. For Vermontville, he set national records in strikeouts in a 9-inning game (26), threw eight no-hitters, won 24 of 25 games and set the national record for career strikeout average (18.1 out of every 21 batters) and season strikeout rate (19 of 21 batters in 1949). He and L.J. Grantham are the only high schoolers to throw two career perfect games.
Signed by the New York Yankees, Ken debuted professionally with the 1949 Newark Yankees, going 3-5 with a 3.80 ERA despite a five-hitter against Lima. In 1950, he was 6-7 with a 2.72 ERA for the Independence Yankees, striking out 101 in 96 innings but walking 60.
Beardslee missed 1951 and 1952, presumably due to military service.
In 1953, Ken went 6-5 with a 2.66 ERA for the West Palm Beach Indians and 0-3 for the Norfolk Tars. Back in Norfolk in 1954, Beardslee had his best year as a pro, going 15-4 with a 3.17 ERA and tying for second in the Piedmont League in wins.
Ken's last year pitching was in 1955 - he was was 8-3 with a 3.10 ERA for the Winston-Salem Twins and 3-1, 6.43 for the Birmingham Barons. Back trouble is credited with helping to end his playing career.
Beardslee scouted for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 20 years and also was a scouting supervisor for some of this period.
He is the author of Making Every Pitch Count.
Sources include Vermontville website, A page from Ken's son Andy, Michigan athletes who hold national high school records, 1951 Baseball Guide, Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database, unofficial Pirates e-mail list