Ralph Betcher

From BR Bullpen

Ralph Albert Betcher

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height5' 10", Weight 175 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Ralph Betcher played in the minor leagues from 1949 to 1952, starting with the Rehoboth Beach Sea Hawks of the Eastern Shore League that first year and hitting .255/?/.314. He then moved on to the Pulaski Counts of the Appalachian League in 1950, posting a batting line of .314/.393/.406. He had 15 steals, 7 triples and 92 runs. He led the league's third basemen in assists (252) and his .911 fielding percentage was third-best among league regulars there.

He split time between the Cordele A's of the Georgia-Florida League (.322/?/.414 in 59 G) and the Danville Leafs (.273/?/.337) of the Carolina League in 1951. He was back with Cordele in 1952. He hit .306/.449/.371. In 1952 he was the only player on the Cordele team to hit a home run all season; he had only 8 homers in his three prior campaigns. The team did not homer in their first 72 games or the 66 after Betcher went yard. While it was a low-homer league, every other team had at least 15 circuit clouts that year. He was second in the GFL in OBP (behind Ken Robinett), 4th in walks (108) and second in fielding at 3B (.941, .002 behind Edmond Dickerman).

After his playing career he became an amateur umpire around Pittsburgh, PA and on May 21, 1976, he got the opportunity of a lifetime when a vendors strike at Three Rivers Stadium caused a number of other unionized workers to walk out in solidarity, including the umpiring crew scheduled to work that day's game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs. The NL hastily assembled a four-man crew, with Ralph working first base. The strike continued the next day, but he was replaced by another local umpire for that game.

Sources include 1951 and 1953 Baseball Guides, Obituary

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