Open main menu

Donald Lee Leshnock (November 25, 1946 – May 5, 2012), was an American professional baseball left-handed pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers, in 1972.[1]

Don Leshnock
Pitcher
Born: (1946-11-25)November 25, 1946
Youngstown, Ohio
Died: May 5, 2012(2012-05-05) (aged 65)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 7, 1972, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
June 7, 1972, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record0–0
Earned run average0.00
Strikeouts2
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • Inducted into the Youngstown State Athletic Hall of Fame (1986)

Leshnock’s entire big league career consisted of one inning of relief, for Detroit, on June 7, 1972, when the Tigers hosted the California Angels. He did not allow an earned run, giving up two hits, and no walks, while striking out two of the five batters he faced.

Leshnock attended Youngstown State University, where he played college baseball for the Penguins, (1965, Junior Varsity) and (19661968, Varsity) and was inducted into the Youngstown State Athletic Hall of Fame, in 1986.

Besides Leshnock‘s brief MLB stint, he pitched eight seasons of Minor League Baseball, from 1968 to 1975.

Early yearsEdit

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Leshnock played high school baseball for Ursuline High School.[2] He subsequently played college baseball for Youngstown State University from 1966 to 1968. Leshnock ranks second in Youngstown State history, with a career earned run average of 1.61. He gave up his senior of eligibility to sign a contract to play professional baseball in the Detroit Tigers organization.[3][4] Leshnock was drafted by the Tigers, in the 23rd round (527th overall) of the 1968 draft, and was signed by Detroit scout Cy Williams.[5][1]

Minor leagues (1968–1972)Edit

Before being called up to the Tigers in 1972, Leshnock played in Detroit's minor league system for the Lakeland Tigers (1968–1869), Rocky Mount Leafs (1969–1970), Montgomery Rebels (1971), and Toledo Mud Hens (1972).[6] He pitched a no-hitter for Rocky Mount in 1970.[7] In 1971, he compiled a 7–3 record with 110 strikeouts in 101 innings for Montgomery.[6] After the 1971 season, the Tigers sent Leshnock to the Winter Instructional League in Dunedin, Florida, where he opened the winter season with a one-hitter against the Twins.[5]

Detroit TigersEdit

The Tigers purchased Leshnock from the Mud Hens at the end of May 1972.[2][8] On June 7, 1972, Leshnock appeared in his only MLB game, a 5-1 loss to the California Angels, at Tiger Stadium. Leshnock pitched the ninth inning for the Tigers, giving up two hits while also striking out two batters and allowing no earned runs.[9] One of the batters he struck out was Nolan Ryan,[10] who got the win in the game while allowing only three hits.[9]

Leshnock's stay in the major leagues proved to be merely a cup of coffee, as he was returned to the Mud Hens in July 1972, and finished the year pitching in the minors.[11][12]

Minor leagues (1973–1975)Edit

In October 1972, Leshnock was sold by the Tigers along with catcher Tom Haller to the Philadelphia Phillies,[7] though neither player ever appeared in a game for the Phillies.[1][13][14] Leshnock played three more years of minor league baseball for the Eugene Emeralds (1973), Charleston Charlies (1974–1975), Jacksonville Suns (1975), and Shreveport Captains (1975).[6][15]

Later yearsEdit

In 1986, Leshnock was inducted into the Youngstown State Athletic Hall of Fame. At the time, he was called "one of the greatest ever to don a Penguin baseball uniform."[3]

His son, Donnie Leshnock, was drafted by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 1992 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft and played four years in the Yankees' minor league organization from 1993 to 1996.[16][17]

Leshnock was a longtime resident of Raleigh, North Carolina, where he died of bladder cancer, in 2012, at the age of 65.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Don Leshnock Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Don Leshnock Joins Tigers in Cleveland". Youngstown Vindicator. May 30, 1972.
  3. ^ a b "Don Leshnock: YSU Athletics Hall of Fame". Youngstown State University. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  4. ^ "Tigers Elevate Don Leshnock". Youngstown Vindicator. August 21, 1968.
  5. ^ a b "Tiger Ace". Youngstown Vindicator. p. 35.
  6. ^ a b c "Don Leshnock Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Tigers Announce Leshnock Deal; Phils Get Haller". Youngstown Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio: The Vindicator Printing Co. United Press International. October 26, 1972. p. 36. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  8. ^ "Tigers Deal Infielder To Texas". The Palm Beach Post. May 31, 1972.
  9. ^ a b "Wednesday, June 7, 1972, Tiger Stadium". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  10. ^ Gene Collier (September 1993). "Players Who Spent One, Brief 'Moment' in the Big Leagues". Baseball Digest.
  11. ^ "Plays At Plate Help Send Hens To Third Straight 1-Run Defeat". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio: Block Communications. August 10, 1972. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "Deals of the Week". The Sporting News. July 15, 1972. p. 16<!–– (Tigers - Acquired pitcher Bill Slayton from Toledo (International) and returned pitcher Don Leshnock to same club) ––>.
  13. ^ Rogers, Thomas (January 20, 1973). "People in Sports: Haller, Phillies Catcher, Retires". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. 24. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  14. ^ "Tom Haller Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "Leshnock Adis Charlies". The Sporting News. August 17, 1974. p. 36<!–– (noting that Leshnock had a 1.19 ERA after 11 relief appearances for Charleston) ––>.
  16. ^ "Donnie Leshnock Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  17. ^ "Donnie Leshnock Gallery - The Trading Card Database". The Trading Card Database. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  18. ^ The Columbus Dispatch – Don Leshnock obituary

External linksEdit