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Sam Zoldak

Sam Zoldak
Bowman Gum baseball card
Born: (1918-12-08)December 8, 1918
Brooklyn, New York
Died: August 25, 1966(1966-08-25) (aged 47)
New Hyde Park, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 13, 1944 for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
August 26, 1952 for the Philadelphia Athletics
Career statistics
Win-loss record 43-53
Earned run average 3.54
Strikeouts 207

Career highlights and awards

Samuel Walter Zoldak, nicknamed Sad Sam, (December 8, 1918 – August 25, 1966) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for nine seasons in the American League with the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Philadelphia Athletics. In 207 career games, Zoldak pitched 929⅓ innings and posted a win–loss record of 43–53, with 30 complete games, 5 shutouts, and a 3.54 earned run average (ERA).

Early life

Zoldak was born in Brooklyn, New York. He played college baseball at Fordham University, and was signed by Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics before the 1941 season.[1] Previously, he had been on the 1938 roster of the Palatka Azaleas, and threw 13 innings.

Professional career

However, on February 17, 1944, before playing a game with Philadelphia, Zoldak was traded along with Barney Lutz to the St. Louis Browns for Frankie Hayes.[1] Zoldak was used as a reliever his first season, pitching in 18 games and earning an ERA of 3.72.[1] He played in 26 games during the 1945 season, earning a 3-2 record with an ERA of 3.36.[1] In the following two seasons, the Browns decided to use him as a starter. He started 21 and 19 games, respectively, in the 1946 and 1947 seasons, and finished with record of 9-11 and 9-10.[1] He also continued to maintain a consistent ERA, finishing both seasons with ERAs of 3.43 and 3.47, respectively.[1] After starting the 1948 season with the Browns, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians, who were in the middle of a pennant race. Zoldak was traded on June 15, 1948 for Bill Kennedy and $100,000.[1]

For the Cleveland Indians, he served both as a reliever and a fifth starting pitcher. During his season with the Indians, he went 9-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 23 games.[1] That same season, he tossed a shutout against his former team, and won both games of a doubleheader while pitching in relief against the Detroit Tigers.[2] His pitching effort led to the Indians winning the 1948 World Series. Zoldak spent the next two seasons in the bullpen, throwing 4 saves in 1950.[1] During the 1949 season, Sam managed to hit his only career homer.[3] On July 27, 1949, the Indians played the New York Yankees. Zoldak hit a home run in the third inning off Ed Lopat.[3] However, the game was rained out, and the only home run of Zoldak's career was erased.[3]

Just before the 1951 season started, Zoldak was part of a three-way trade. On April 30, 1951, he was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics along with Ray Murray in a trade that also involved the Chicago White Sox.[1] Zoldak played the 1951 season for the Athletics after having originally been signed by the team ten years ago by Connie Mack. Ironically, Mack retired from managing in 1950, the year before Zoldak joined the major league roster. Zoldak pitched for the Athletics for two seasons, and was used primarily as a starter, starting 28 of the 42 games he pitched for them.[1] On July 13, 1951, Zoldak pitched a one-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. After being released by the Athletics on February 2, 1953,[1] he pitched briefly for the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, appearing in two games before retiring. He is buried in the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury, New York.


External links

Biography portal
  • Career statistics and player information from The Baseball Cube
  • Find a Grave
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