Vic Raschi

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Victor John Angelo "Vic" Raschi (March 28, 1919October 14, 1988) was a Major League Baseball pitcher.

He was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts (thus the nickname "The Springfield Rifle") and went on to graduate from the College of William and Mary.

His debut on the New York Yankees was September 23, 1946, wearing uniform number 12. The next year he wore three different numbers (17, 19, and 43) but number 17 became his from then on during his Yankee career. He was one of the top pitchers for the Yankees in the late 1940s and early 1950s, forming (with Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat) the "Big Three" of the Yankees' pitching staff. From 1946 to 1953, Raschi won 120 games while losing 50. He led the American League in won/lost percentage with a .724 record in 1950, and in strikeouts with 164 in 1951. And he was a better hitter than most pitchers, with a .184 career batting average, and got 7 runs batted in (RBI) in one game, an American League record for pitchers, on August 3, 1953. But on February 24, 1954, Yankee fans were surprised to see him traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Apparently the Yankees' management knew what they had done, because in the remaining two years of his career, with the Cardinals and Kansas City Athletics (who signed him as a free agent on April 28, 1955 when the Cardinals released him), Raschi won only 12 games while losing 16.

On April 23, 1954, Raschi gave up the first of Hank Aaron's 755 career home runs. Aaron had also gotten his first career hit off Raschi eight days earlier.

He kept his uniform number 17 on the Cardinals, but on the A's took number 16.

He died in Groveland, New York.

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