Hal Trosky, Jr., Former White Sox Pitcher, Passes Away
Hal Trosky, Jr., a former Chicago White Sox pitcher, passed away November 23 at the age of 76.
According to the Muscatine Journal, the son of 1930s baseball star Hal Trosky died in hospice care following a short illness.
The Cleveland, Ohio native, who appeared in two games for the White Sox in 1958, began his professional career after signing with Chicago out of high school before the 1954 season.
Originally a first baseman, Trosky—born Harold Arthur Trosky, Jr. on September 29, 1936—played two years in the minor leagues before converting to pitching. He moved to the mound in 1956 and spent the next couple seasons on the farm perfecting that craft.
The then 21-year-old made his major league debut on September 25, 1958. Facing the Detroit Tigers at home in front of 709 fans, the young right-hander, nicknamed “Hoot,” appeared in relief of struggling starter Dick Donovan.
He faced three batters in the top of the fifth inning—including future Yankees skipper Billy Martin—and allowed only a single before finishing the inning unscathed. He was then relieved by Bob Shaw.
Three days later, on September 28, he appeared in his final big league game. Though he allowed four hits, two walks and two earned runs in two innings of relief against the Oakland Athletics, Trosky still earned the victory that day as the White Sox walloped Oakland 11-4.
While his major league career was merely a brief cup of coffee, his minor league career was anything but.
He spent five seasons on the farm, pitching in the White Sox system until 1959. He won 14 games for the Class-B Davenport DavSox in 1957 and the following year, he tallied 13 victories for two teams. In 1959, he was 8-6 with a 2.79 ERA in 38 games, 18 of which he started.
After pitching briefly in the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds systems in 1960, the 23-year-old quit professional baseball cold turkey to join the insurance business. Nevertheless, he continued to receive contracts from the White Sox and Chicago did not grant him an official release until 1972, according to his SABR biography.
His late father, Hal Trosky, Sr., spent 11 years in the big leagues beginning in 1933, hitting .302 with 228 home runs and 1,012 RBI. In 1936, he hit 42 home runs with 162 RBI.
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