Born: May 11, 1939|
|August 10, 1957 for the Baltimore Orioles|
Last MLB appearance
|September 18, 1973 for the Chicago Cubs|
|Earned run average||3.40|
Career highlights and awards
Milton Steven "Milt" Pappas (born Miltiades Stergios Papastergios on May 11, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former professional baseball pitcher. A 17-year veteran, Pappas, nicknamed "Gimpy", pitched for the Baltimore Orioles (
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, as a senior at Cooley High School, Pappas was scouted by several teams and signed with the Orioles at the suggestion of Hal Newhouser, a former star pitcher for the Detroit Tigers who lived in the Detroit area. Pappas signed for $4,000 and pitched only three games in the minor leagues before being called up in August. He made his Major League debut on August 10 in relief against the New York Yankees. In
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Even as a young pitcher, Pappas exhibited excellent control, never walking more than 83 batters in a season. Pappas soon became the ace of the Orioles' staff, and was named an All-Star in
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year All-Star Game. In each year from 1959 through 1965, Pappas never had a losing record, winning between 13 and 16 games.
Giving up Roger Maris' 59th home run in 1961
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In December 1965, Pappas and another pitcher, Jack Baldschun, and outfielder Dick Simpson were traded to the Cincinnati Reds for superstar and future Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. Reds president Bill DeWitt believed that Robinson was "not a young 30." The outrage from the Cincinnati fans over the deal made it difficult for Pappas to adjust to pitching in Cincinnati. He posted a winning record in
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year Pappas won a team- and career-high 16 games, but when he got off to a slow start in
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Pappas adapted well to the new ballpark (Fulton County Stadium), as he went 10–8 for the Braves with a 2.37 ERA. In
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, the Braves pulled Pappas from their rotation after only three starts after he compiled a 6.06 ERA and allowed six home runs. On June 23, they sold him to the Chicago Cubs, where he got another chance to prove he was still a major league starter. Pappas posted a 7–2 record with a 2.36 ERA at home and a 10–8 record with a 2.68 ERA overall.
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, Pappas went 17–14 (the wins being a career best) with a 3.51 ERA. On September 24 of that year, against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, Pappas struck out three batters (two of whom were Greg Luzinski and Don Money) on nine pitches in the fourth inning of a 6–1 loss, becoming the 10th National League pitcher and the 16th pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. Five days later, against the Montreal Expos at Jarry Park, Pappas was again part of baseball history, albeit on the other side, as he was responsible for Ron Hunt's 50th hit by pitch of the season, which broke the single-season record of 49 set by Hughie Jennings in 1896. Pappas complained unsuccessfully to home plate umpire Ken Burkhart that the pitch had been over the plate, and that Hunt had made no effort to get out of the way. (Later research would credit Jennings with 51 HBPs, giving him the single-season record once again.)
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, Pappas went 17–7 with a 2.77 earned run average, his best full-season ERA since his 2.60 in 1965, his last year in Baltimore. On September 2 of that year, at Wrigley Field, Pappas no-hit the San Diego Padres 8–0. He retired the first 26 batters and was one strike away from a perfect game with a 2–2 count on pinch-hitter Larry Stahl, but home-plate umpire Bruce Froemming called the next two pitches — both of which were close — balls. Pappas believed he had struck out Stahl, and even decades later in 2008, he continued to begrudge Froemming. Some 25 years later, a Chicago radio personality, during an interview with Pappas, got Froemming on the phone and the two argued on the air. Pappas also said in 2006 that he has seen videotape footage of that game on WGN and can see Froemming smirking immediately after the walk was issued; Froemming denied the charge.
Pappas ended the game by retiring the next batter, ex-Cub Garry Jestadt. Until Carlos Zambrano no-hit the Houston Astros on September 14, 2008, Pappas' had been the last no-hitter the Cubs had been involved in, either pitching it or having it pitched against them. They had gone the longest of all Major League teams since they had last been involved in a no-hitter. (As of 2014, they have also gone the longest of all Major League teams since a no-hitter was last pitched in their home ballpark, Pappas' having been the most recent at Wrigley Field.) Eleven days after his no-hitter, he recorded his 200th career victory, also at Wrigley Field, defeating the Montreal Expos 6–2.
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During his career, Pappas was in the top 10 in ERA eight seasons, in wins six seasons, fewest walks per nine innings nine seasons, complete games seven seasons, shutouts eight seasons, and he was tied for the league lead with a perfect fielding percentage (1.000) four seasons. Pappas also hit 20 home runs as a pitcher; as of 2014, he is one of 13 pitchers to hit at least 20 home runs. On August 27, 1961, while with the Orioles, Pappas pitched a two-hit, 3–0 shutout against the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium and helped his own cause by homering twice off Pedro Ramos.
On September 11, 1982, Pappas’ wife, Carole, disappeared after leaving the couple's home in the Farnham subdivision in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton. For five years, no sign was found of her car, her clothing, or her body. One theory was that Carole Pappas was killed by a group of four men known as the Ripper Crew, as part of a satanic ritual. In 1984, Tom Kokoraleis, who was convicted for the murder of Lorraine Borowski, led police to a field where Carole Pappas was allegedly buried, but searchers could find no remains.
In 1987, almost five years to the day she disappeared, workers draining a shallow pond four blocks from the Pappas home discovered the car she had been driving, a white and burgundy 1980 Buick, as well as her body. A DuPage County coroner's jury ruled the cause of death as drowning. Police theorized she mistook a driveway near the pond for a road leading to her subdivision, vaulting 25–30 feet from the bank into the pond. Carole Pappas, a recovering alcoholic, may have been drinking; however, blood alcohol content could not be confirmed.
Life outside of baseball
Milt and Carole Pappas had two children, Michelle and Steve. Carole had been his childhood sweetheart and they were married 22 years. After baseball he owned a restaurant in Baltimore, Milt Pappas' Scotch & Sirloin, worked for a beer and wine distributor and later sold building supplies.
In 1990, Pappas sold his house in Wheaton and moved with his second wife, Judi (Bloome), a teacher of special needs children, to Beecher, Illinois, with their 5-year-old daughter Alexandria. Judi is administrative dean of students at Crete-Monee High School.
He was seriously injured in a February 2013 single-vehicle accident in Kankakee County when he crashed into a utility pole and rolled his Jeep Cherokee, fracturing eight ribs and lacerating an ear. He was hospitalized several days before being released.
- List of Major League Baseball no-hitters
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career wins
- Pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches
- List of Major League Baseball all-time leaders in home runs by pitchers
- "Milt Pappas". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "Milt Pappas". The Baseball Page. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- Amspacher, Bruce (2003-04-11). "What Really Happened? An Interview with Major League Pitching Great Milt Pappas". Professional Sports Authenticator. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
- Weinbaum, William (2007-09-20). "Froemming draws Pappas' ire, 35 years later". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
- Mitchell, Fred (2008-09-14). "Pappas happy for Zambrano as his 36-year run". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- Wittenmyer, Gordon (2008-09-14). "Gem prompts memories of Pappas". Chicago Sun-TimesTribune. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "Sunday, August 27, 1961, Metropolitan Stadium". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- Elisabeth Wetsch (2005). "Illinois Cannibal Murders". Serial Killer Crime Index. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20087387,00.html[dead link]
- Mike Klingaman (June 9, 2009). "Catching Up With ... Milt Pappas". The Baltimore Sun.
- http://www.daily-journal.com/archives/dj/display.php?id=503035[dead link]
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Box score of Pappas' no-hitter
- Pappas happy for Zambrano as his 36-year run
- Gem prompts memories of Pappas
September 2, 1972
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