Alfred Vanoide Fletcher
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.
- Debut April 12, 1955
- Final Game May 30, 1955
- Born August 6, 1924 in East Bend, NC USA
- Died March 17, 2010 in Yadkinville, NC USA
Van Fletcher , a 24-year-old right-hander, started out his pro pitching career as a free agent in 1949 with the Elkin Blanketeers of the class D Blue Ridge League. He went 7-6 with a 4.46 ERA and also appeared in 6 games going 0-2 with a 3.27 ERA for the Tyler Trojans of the class C East Texas League.
It was six years before Fletcher got a chance in a major league ballpark, and until that time came, he pitched with five different clubs in five different leagues. 1950 was his best in this run, going 15-7 with the Elkin Blanketeers with a 3.26 ERA. Although Van did hurl a no-hitter for the Vancouver Capilanos in the 1953 Western International League, shutting down the Yakima Bears 2-0. He closed this year out with a 17-13 and a 3.10 ERA.
The Detroit Tigers acquired Fletcher on August 20, 1954 from the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League for Earl Harrist and cash. He had been working effectively in relief roles in the PCL. The Tigers brought up the right-hander and he made nine appearances with no win-loss record in 1955, giving up four runs in 12 innings for a 3.00 ERA in his only time in the majors. Fletcher recalled making his debut at Yankee Stadium. "I pitched one inning and got them out 1-2-3. I remember the hitters were Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Hank Bauer."
Fletcher spent through 1957 in the minors, with about the same success, and decided call it quits at age 32 and 9 seasons in pro baseball. He wound up making 283 appearances, winning 72 and losing 60 with a 4.67 ERA.
After baseball, Fletcher worked as a home builder with his own construction company, farmed tobacco, and coached little league and American Legion baseball. He passed away in 2010 at age 85.