Tuesday, April 16, 2024

All I've Got of Him - Ken Holtzman

Former Cub pitcher Ken Holtzman passed away yesterday at the age of 78.  The lefty was a member of the '69 Cubs and pitched in one of the most memorable games that season.  He tossed a no-hitter on August 19 against the Braves.  Remember, the Braves won the West that season, so it wasn't like he no-hit an also ran team.  An oddity of the game is that he didn't record a single strikeout.  

Two years later he pitched another no hitter, this time against the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati.  The Cubs won the game 1-0 and the lone run was scored by Holtzman.  And this time he did record some strikeouts, six of them.  I have definite memories of watching this game on our black and white TV down in the basement.

The 1971 season was his last with the Cubs.  He had grown tired of manager Leo Durocher and was pretty vocal about it.  Over the winter he was traded to Oakland, with Rick Monday coming to the Cubs.  The deal worked out nicely for Holtzman, pitching well for the A's as they won three consecutive World Series.  

After Oakland, he had stints with the Orioles and Yankees before returning to the Cubs during the 1978 season.  His career ended after 1979.

I have a total of 31 cards of Holtzman, including a certified autograph.  They are below.

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