Rinold George Duren Jr.
Bats: Right , Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" , Weight: 195 lb.
Born: February 22, 1929 in Cazenovia, WI
Aquired via trade by the New York Yankees with Johnny James and Lee Thomas to the Los Angeles Angels for Bob Cerv and Tex Clevenger on May 8, 1961.
Later purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Los Angeles Angels on March 14, 1963.
Entered the game in the 8th as a replacement for Fritz Brickell (PH). In two innings of relief gave up no runs and 1 hit and fanned 5 in a 3-2 loss vs Boston at Wrigley Field, LA on May 10, 1961.
1961 - 1962
In 82 games (17 as a starter) went 8-21 with 10 saves and a 4.86 ERA. Threw 182 strikeouts in 170.1 innings.
1961 AL All-Star
He was known for his fastball pitching, but also noted for his very poor vision and thick glasses. He was rumored to have hit a player waiting in the on-deck circle, supposedly because he could not see which way to throw to home plate.
He was originally signed by the St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles) as a free agent before the 1949 season. His first major league game was on September 25, 1954 (by which time the Browns had moved to Baltimore). That was the only game he ever played for the Orioles.
On September 21, 1956 he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics as part of a trade involving three other players (Jim Pisoni and Duren went to the A's in exchange for Al Pilarcik and Art Ceccarelli). The Athletics and Yankees did a lot of trading in that era, and on June 15, 1957 Duren, Pisoni, and Harry Simpson were traded to the Yankees for Billy Martin, Ralph Terry, Woodie Held, and Bob Martyn. Duren's best year in terms of winning percentage was 1958, when he won 6 and lost 4 for the Yankees; and he received the first of his 3 All-Star selections as well. He has also been retroactively credited with saving 20 games in 1958, the high mark in the American League that year. In 1959, his won-lost record was much poorer, but his earned run average of 1.88 was the best of his career. Duren was a showman. In those days the Yankee bullpen was a part of the short-porch right field and only a low chain link fence served as the boundary. When called upon by Casey Stengel to relieve, he wouldn’t use the gate, but would rather hop that fence with one hand and begin a slow walk to the mound with his blue Yankee warm-up jacket covering his pitching arm; even in the hottest days. When he finally took the ball from Casey and began his warm-ups, the first pitch was always a blazing fastball 20 feet over the catcher’s head. The 2nd warm-up pitch was a bit lower (but not slower) until on his 5th warm-up Ryne would finally find the plate. With his thick coke bottle glasses, no batter ever dug in against Duren.
Duren stayed with the Yankees until May 8, 1961, when he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels; Duren, Johnny James, and Lee Thomas went to the Angels in exchange for Tex Clevenger and Bob Cerv. Shortly after being traded to the Angels, he struck out seven successive Red Sox batters, an American League record.