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Ron Herbel

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Title: Ron Herbel  
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Subject: San Francisco Giants, 2000 in baseball, 1938 in baseball, 1957 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament, San Diego Padres all-time roster, 1965 Topps
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Ron Herbel

Ron Herbel
Herbel in 1963.
Born: (1938-01-16)January 16, 1938
Denver, Colorado
Died: January 20, 2000(2000-01-20) (aged 62)
Tacoma, Washington
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 10, 1963 for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
September 19, 1971 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
Win-Loss Record 42-37
Strikeouts 447
Earned Run Average 3.83

Career highlights and awards

Ronald Samuel Herbel (January 14, 1938 – January 20, 2000) was a right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher. His .029 career batting average is the lowest batting average in Major League history for a player with a minimum of 100 at-bats.[1]

MLB debut

Born in Denver, Colorado, Herbel attended the University of Northern Colorado. After two seasons at Northern Colorado, Herbel signed as an amateur free agent with the San Francisco Giants. He spent five seasons in San Francisco's farm system when he received a September call up to the Giants in 1963. He made two relief appearances with the Giants, both against the New York Mets, with his major league debut on September 10 at the Polo Grounds.[2]

0 for 47

Herbel was used both in relief and as a starter in 1963, as he made 22 starts and eighteen appearances out of the bullpen. In his first Major League at-bat on May 6, he struck out against Larry Jackson of the Chicago Cubs.[3] For the season, Herbel made 54 plate appearances without getting a hit, and struck out thirty times.

On the mound, however, he was much better. Herbel went 9-9 with a 3.07 earned run average and 98 strikeouts. His first major league win was a 1-0 complete game shut out of the New York Mets on May 17.[4]

First Major League hit

In 1965 Herbel earned a spot in the starting rotation on his way to a 12-9 record for a Giants team that won 14 straight games in September, with Herbel pitching the best ball of his career, only to lose the pennant by 2 games to a Dodger team that won its last 15 games. He registered his first major league hit and RBI on May 21 in his first major league game on astroturf, while holding the Houston Astros to just five hits themselves in the complete game victory.[5] It was his only hit of the season, though he was credited with a second run batted in on July 28 when he walked with the bases loaded.[6]

Trade to the Padres

1965 was Herbel's best season with the Giants. If it could be said that he had a best season with the bat, it would be 1967 when Herbel had three hits, two of which were doubles, two walks, three successful bunts and struck out only fourteen times for a .107 batting average. It was also Herbel's first real season as a reliever. Though he made eleven starts, he made 31 appearances out of the bullpen, earning one save. Over the next two seasons, Herbel made only six starts. Following the 1969 season, Herbel was traded with Bob Barton and Bobby Etheridge to the San Diego Padres for Frank Reberger.

New York Mets[7]

The Padres were 50-82, 34.5 games back of the Cincinnati Reds when they dealt Herbel to the reigning World Series champion New York Mets, who were in the midst of a play-off drive again in 1970 (two games back of the first place Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League East at the time of the trade), and needed to add an arm to their bullpen. Herbel went 2-2 with a 1.38 ERA and one save in twelve relief appearances for the Mets, who finished in third place, six games back of the Pirates. Combined with his 64 appearances with the Padres, Herbel's 76 appearances on the mound led the National League, and was only one less than major league leader Wilbur Wood. Following the season, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Bob Aspromonte.


Herbel spent one season in Atlanta, where he went 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA and one save in 25 appearances for the third place Braves. He signed with the Minnesota Twins in 1972, and spent the entire season with their triple A Pacific Coast League affiliate before retiring. He died on January 20, 2000 in Tacoma, Washington at 62 years old.

9 42 37 .532 3.83 331 79 11 3 16 894 945 380 442 81 285 447 40 20 .029 3


  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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