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John Hardin Oldham (born November 6, 1932) is a former Major League Baseball player. Although he was a pitcher during all of his professional career, Oldham's only MLB appearance came as a pinch runner for the Cincinnati Redlegs in the 1956 season; he is one of only two pitchers (the other being Larry Yount) who appeared in a major league game without throwing a single pitch.

John Oldham
Pinch runner
Born: (1932-11-06) November 6, 1932 (age 86)
Salinas, California
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 2, 1956, for the Cincinnati Redlegs
Last MLB appearance
September 2, 1956, for the Cincinnati Redlegs
MLB statistics
Games played1
Runs scored0


Oldham was a three-year letterwinner at San Jose State University, from 1952 through 1954. A member of the school's Hall of Fame,[1] Oldham still holds the Spartans' career and single-season records for strikeouts and walks; he also ranks among the school's top ten for career wins, and career and single-season innings pitched.[2] He was the first Humboldt Crabs player to play in the Major Leagues.


Oldham was signed by the Redlegs out of San Jose State in 1954 as a pitcher. He spent that season with the minor league Columbia Reds of the South Atlantic League. In 1955, he pitched for the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, where he had a record of 9–6 and an earned run average of 3.84.

Despite not appearing in a single minor league game in 1956 (due to an injury), the Redlegs called Oldham up in September. On September 2, 1956, he entered the game against the Chicago Cubs in the third inning at Crosley Field in Cincinnati as a pinch runner for Ted Kluszewski, who himself had pinch-hit for third baseman Alex Grammas. The next batter popped out and Oldham was replaced on defense by Rocky Bridges.[3] Although he pitched for three more seasons in the minors, his MLB career was over.

Oldham batted right and threw left-handed, which was itself unusual: as of 2015, only 553 players in MLB history (about 3% of all players) hit right and threw left, with Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson probably the best known.


From 1985–97, Oldham coached the Broncos of Santa Clara University, leading them to four NCAA appearances and three West Coast Conference championships. His final record at Santa Clara was 433–324–6, a .571 winning percentage.


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