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April 10, 1946|
June 17, 2016 (aged 70)|
Phillip Winston "Phil" Hennigan (April 10, 1946 – June 17, 2016) was a right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1969 to 1973 with the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Hennigan was born in Jasper, Texas. He attended Jasper High School in Jasper, and then Sam Houston State University. Hennigan served in the United States Army and deployed as an artilleryman in the Vietnam War, where he received a medal for bravery. He returned in January 1968.
Professional career[edit | edit source]
Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the fourth round of the 1966 draft, Hennigan began his professional career that same year. Pitching for the Reno Silver Sox, Hennigan went 3-8 with a 4.03 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 96 innings of work.
He missed all of the 1967 campaign due to military service. In 1968, he pitched for Reno again, going 5-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 80 innings, striking out 76 batters and walking 32.
In 1969, he mostly pitched for the Waterbury Indians although he saw a few games in the majors. With the Waterbury Indians, he went 10-10 with a 3.39 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 154 innings of work. He made his Major League Baseball debut on September 2 of that year, pitching a third of an inning against the Minnesota Twins. The single batter he faced in that game (and the first batter he ever faced in the majors) was Hall of Famer Rod Carew, who flew out to center. Overall, he went 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA in nine relief appearances in his rookie season.
Hennigan made 41 relief appearances and one start for the Indians in 1970, going 6-3 with a 4.02 ERA, 43 strikeouts and 44 walks in 712⁄3 innings of work. He spent seven games with the Wichita Aeros that year as well, going 2-2 with an 8.00 ERA in 27 innings of work.
In 1971, Hennigan went 4-3 with a 4.94 ERA in 57 relief appearances. His 57 appearances led the team, and were fifth overall in the league. He was also eighth in the league with 14 saves and fourth with 38 games finished. He also appeared in seven games for Wichita that year, going 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings.
Although 1972 was arguably Hennigan’s best season, it would also be his last with the Indians. In 38 games, he went 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA. In 671⁄3 innings of work, he struck out 44 batters, walking only 18, and also saved five games.
Following the 1972 season, he was traded to the Mets for pitchers Bob Rauch and Brent Strom. He appeared in 30 games with the Mets in 1973, going 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA and pitched in his final big league game on July 7, 1973.
Overall, Hennigan went 17-14 with a 4.26 ERA through five big league seasons. In 176 games, he pitched 2802⁄3 innings, walking 133 batters and striking out 188. He saved 25 games and finished exactly 100. As a batter, he collected three hits in 30 at-bats for a .100 average. His first hit was the only extra base hit of his career, a double off Bob Locker. He committed only one error for a .980 fielding percentage.
In the minors, he went 21-27 with a 3.80 ERA.
Hennigan died on June 17, 2016 after a 1-year battle with lung cancer.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Phil Hennigan Stats". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=henniph01. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- "Phil Hennigan". Baseball-Reference.com. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/henniph01.shtml. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- "Big Names Swap Teams In First Baseball Session .". Florence Times Tri–Cities Daily. AP. 28 November 1972. p. 9. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=RgksAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6cYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=866,5848996&dq=phil-hennigan+baseball&hl=en. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
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