Happy Birthday, Ken Kravec

Ken KravecHappy Birthday to southpaw Ken Kravec, who pitched for the White Sox from 1975 to 1980, and for the Cubs in 1981 and 1982.  The first time I saw him pitch was on September 1, 1976 when the Indians were at Comiskey Park.  Ken was pitching against Jim Bibby.  The game was a real pitcher’s duel until the last inning.  The Tribe was up one run (a solo homer by Ray Fosse) and in the top of the ninth, Ken gave up a leadoff walk to George Hendrick.  Buddy Bell drove him home on a double. Then he walked Ron Pruitt.  Frank Duffy hit a single to left, scoring Bell.  Jorge Orta threw out Ron at third.  With Duffy on second, Duane Kuiper grounded out to end the inning.  I got to know Ken a little in 1977, when I went to spring training with the White Sox.  Nice guy.

One comment

  1. Pete Rupay

    Hey Fritz,

    I remember you well as a pretty good major league pitcher. But I was surfing YouTube recently and came upon a video of Thurman Munson’s last at-bat, the day before he died in a plane crash at the Akron/Canton Ohio airport. I did a double-take when I noticed that the name on the jersey of the left-handed pitcher was “Kravec.”

    In the summer of 1971, I was playing sandlot ball in a league in Lakewood, OH, where I lived. The best team in that league was J.Schrader, Co., and their best pitcher was Ken Kravec. When I pitched against them, I had the honor of striking out against Kravec. I was startled to realize that Ken was the last pitcher to pitch to Thurman Munson. By the way, Munson struck out, too. I never had the chance to meet Ken, but I’m glad he’s still in the game. Who is he scouting for?

    Another pitch in that league that summer that I had the honor of striking out against was a right-handed pitcher named Chuck Seelbach. I think he went on to pitch for the Tigers.

    I had just gotten out of the army in Feb 1971, actually just came home from a year in Vietnam. I was 24 years old and my number one ambition was to be a major league pitcher. I think I had a major league fastball, but I needed coaching badly – my mechanics were all over the place.

    Take care,

    Pete Rupay
    Denton, Texas


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