Al Widmar bigraphy, stories - Baseball player

Al Widmar : biography

March 20, 1925 - October 15, 2005

Albert Joseph Widmar (March 20, 1925 – October 15, 2005) was an American starting pitcher and a pitching coach in Major League Baseball. Between 1945 and 1952, Widmar played for the Boston Red Sox (1947), St. Louis Browns (1948, 1950–1951) and Chicago White Sox (1952). He batted and threw right-handed. As a coach, Widmar worked with the Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio.

In a five season career, Widmar posted a 13–30 record with 143 strikeouts and a 5.21 ERA in 388.1 innings pitched.

Widmar played part of two major league seasons as a reliever with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Browns. He debuted with the Red Sox in 1947, and was sent to St. Louis before the 1948 season in the same trade that brought Vern Stephens to Boston. After an unspectacular year with the Browns, he was demoted to Baltimore, St. Louis' Triple-A affiliate team.

In 1949 Widmar won 22 games in the International League. A year later, he returned to the Browns as a starter. After going 11–24 in two seasons, he was sent along with Sherm Lollar to the Chicago White Sox for Dick Littlefield, Joe DeMaestri, Gus Niarhos and Jim Rivera. He finished the 1952 season with the Seattle Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League, and remained with the team through half of the 1955 season. At that point, Widmar donned a Tulsa Oilers uniform, and remained with the team as player/manager through 1958.http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=widmar001alb

Following his playing career, Widmar became a successful minor league manager for more than a decade. He also was the pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, and later became a front office official for Milwaukee.

In , Widmar became the pitching coach of the Toronto Blue Jays; he kept the job for the next ten seasons. In , he guided a rotation that featured Dave Stieb, Doyle Alexander, Jim Clancy and Jimmy Key as the Blue Jays won their first AL East Division title. He was promoted to special assistant to the vice president and general manager in .

Widmar died of colon cancer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at age 80.

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