Fritz Peterson´s Wonderful And Controversial Career


Former Yankees pitcher Fritz Peterson seems to consider baseball as a divine, yet hard-nosed sport. ¨I firmly believe that if Jesus Christ was sliding into second base, he would knock the second baseman into left field to break up the double play,¨ he says according to  Sermon” Christ might not throw a spitball but he would play hard within the rules.”

This seems almost ironic for a player who was once criticized and even booed after he announced in 1973 that he was exchanging wives with Yankee teammate Mike Kekich. That created an hysteria that overshadowed what should have been the real story-Peterson´s wonderful career. 

More from Yankees News

He teamed with former Yankees pitching coach Mel  Stottlemyre to give the Yankees a terrific one-two punch at the top of the rotation. From 1968 through 1972 he led the American League every year with the fewest walks per nine innings. He was a rock of consistency. His best season came in 1970 when he destroyed American League batters,  finishing with a record of 20-11 and an all star game appearance.

And Peterson holds a number of Yankee milestones, as well. He was the starting pitcher in the last game played at the original Yankee Stadium in 1973. He also finished with the lowest career ERA at the original Yankee Stadium with a 2.52. That was just ahead of Whitey Ford´s 2.55. Altogether, he won 109 games for the Yankees in his career.

Sincé his retirement from baseball, he has kept busy. He served as a hockey announcer, a blackjack dealer, and authored a book in 2009 entitled, ¨Mickey Mantle Is Going To Heaven.¨ So that would mean Mickey is up there right now, standing in that great batter´s box in the sky. And as he is looking out to the mound, he knows one thing for sure. If Fritz is correct, he doésn´t have to worry about seeing a spitball.

More from Yankees News