A GREAT view of the field at AT&T Park in Chattanooga during their pre-season open house!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ken MacKenzie- Mets, Braves, Astros and Giants

Ken MacKenzie spent time with several teams in the 60s.

"I'll tell you a little about 1960- and the Louisville Colonels."

"I came north with the Braves in '60- we played the Reds on the way up- Jacksonville, Atlanta, Columbus SC and Louisville. I was still a non-roster player. Charlie Dressen left me in Louisville when the Braves went on to Milwaukee. The Colonels were still in Florida."

He went home for five days.

"The Braves called me up about 3 weeks later- I pitched in 3 games- 1/3, 2/3, and 10 innings. The 10 inning stint we won in the 18th. Dressen asked me about my record as I was signing my first big league contract."

Dressen asked Ken about his record, which was 1-0, with 11 innings pitched and a perfect 0.0 ERA.

"If I'd given up a run in the 10th of the 18 inning game, I'd have pitched 2 innings."

Ken ended up staying 62 days, and was then sent back to Louisville because, management felt, he was a relief pitcher and they needed a starter.

"That was in St. Louis. Nottebart started- gave up 7 runs in 7 innings. His only start. He got sent down and a relief pitcher called up- Chi Chi Olivo."

Ken stayed in Louisville.

"We had a good run. We won the pennant, playoffs and Junior World Series. Of the 12 wins in the playoffs and JWS, I had 8 saves and wins. Never pitched better. Bob Uecker was catching. We beat Toronto in the JWS- 4-2 I believe- Sparky Anderson played second for the Maple Leafs. That was 50 years ago."

Ken's older son, Kenny, will be 50 in October he says. He was born in Toronto when Ken got a job for the winter.

"I had spoken at a Rotary meeting while we were playing in Toronto and mentioned that I'd be looking for a job for the winter. Got one. Kenny was born about 3 1/2 weeks after we went north."

"1960 was a good year. I got to the majors (before expansion), we won the JWS (I was the MVP of the Colonels), Kenny was born- a healthy bonus baby, and we thought I was going to have a big league career."

Thanks for letting me know about your great connection to Louisville Ken!

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