Drabowsky was an expert practical joker

Originally Published: February 18, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Myron Walter "Moe" Drabowsky was an interesting fellow.

  • Of only four major-league players born in Poland, Drabowsky was the last, and easily the best.

  • After striking out 16 batters in a 1956 no-hitter for Trinity College, Drabowsky jumped straight to the majors with the Cubs.

  • In his second season with the Cubs, Drabowsky was only 21 but arguably put together his best season, setting career highs with 240 innings and 13 wins. As it often happened to young pitchers in those days (and to young pitchers in these days), Drabowsky's arm couldn't handle all those innings, and he was never again the pitcher he'd been.

  • With his career on the rocks in 1965, Drabowsky was drafted from the minors by the Orioles. For three seasons he pitched brilliantly out of the bullpen for Baltimore – the highlight coming in Game 1 of the '66 World Series, when Drabowsky pitched six and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball (striking out 11 and allowing just one hit) to beat the Dodgers.

    All told, Moe Drabowsky pitched in the major leagues for most of 17 seasons and saw action with seven different teams, beginning with the Cubs and ending with the White Sox. He started more than 20 games only four times and saved more than eight games only twice, but he was a good pitcher for a long time.