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This Date in Washington Senators History
Jack Eugene Jensen B Mar. 9, 1927 D Jul. 14, 1982
Jackie Jensen, University of California two sport All American, came to the major leagues in 1950. He’d been purchased from the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League after the 1949 season by the New York Yankees.
A talented outfielder, Jensen had a hard time cracking the talented Yankee outfield. Jensen would play in 45 games in his rookie season and another 56 games in 1951. Starting the 1952 season in New York, Jensen played in just 7 games for the Yankees before he was traded to the Washington Senators along with Spec Shea, Jerry Snyder and Archie Wilson for Irv Noren and Tom Upton in early May.
Jensen would finally get the chance to play regularly in Washington, appearing in 144 games for the Senators in 1952. He’d hit .286 in his first season with the Senators including 29 doubles, 5 triples, 10 home runs and would steal 17 bases. That production would get Jensen named to the 1952 American League All Star Team.
Jensen’s average would slip to .266 in 147 games in 1953 however he’d still manage to collect 32 doubles, 8 triples, another 10 home runs and steal 18 bases while walking 73 times. Traded to the Boston Red Sox after the 1953 season for Mickey McDermott and Tom Umphlett, Jensen would remain with the Red Sox through 1961. He’d be selected to the All Star Teams of 1955 and 1958, the latter year as the starting right fielder. He’d also earn the MVP award in 1958.
One of Jensen’s best seasons with Boston would come in 1956 when he’d hit .315 with 20 home runs and he’d lead the league with 11 triples. He’d also lead the league in stolen bases in 1954 with 22. Jensen had an intense fear of flying and announced his retirement from baseball. He did not play in 1960 but returned to the Red Sox for one last season in 1961. Again his fear of flying caused him to retire a second time after the 1961 season, this time for good. A good write-up on Jensen’s college days, his playing career and his dislike of air travel can be found here: Wikipedia writeup on Jackie Jensen
Ronald Lee Kline B Mar. 9, 1932 D Jun. 22, 2002
Another “baseball nomad”, Ron Kline played for 9 different teams, including 2 separate stints with the Pittsburg Pirates, during 17 seasons in a span of 19 years. Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates before the start of the 1950 season, Kline would arrive in the majors with Pittsburgh in April of 1952. Appearing in 27 games, Kline would post a 0-7 record with a 5.49 ERA.
Out of the major leagues in 1953 and 1954, Kline would return to the Pirates in 1955 where he’d pitch through 1959. He’d appear in 44 games in 1956 posting a 14-18 record. Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, Kline would go 4-9 in 34 games for the Cardinals in 1960. Purchased by the Los Angeles Angels, Kline would have a 3-6 record in 26 games with LA when he was waived in early August. Signed by the Detroit Tigers, Kline would finish the season going 5-3 in 10 games for Detroit. He’d remain with the Tigers in 1962, appearing in 36 games, compiling a 3-6 record.
Sold to the Washington Senators before the start of the 1963 season, Kline would spend 4 seasons in Washington. In 1964 he’d post a 10-7 record in 61 games with a 2.32 ERA. 1965 would see Kline in 74 appearances for Washington, going 7-6 with a 2.63 ERA. In his last season with Washington, 1966, Kline would appear in 63 games posting a 6-4 record with a 2.39 ERA.
Traded to the Minnesota Twins for Bernie Allen and Camilio Pascual, Kline would spend 1 season with the Twins going 7-1 in 54 games in 1967. Traded again, this time back to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kline would post a 12-5 record in 56 games with an outstanding 1.68 ERA in 1968.
Kline would start the 1969 season with the Pirates but would be traded to the San Francisco Giants in early June. He’d spend less than a month with the Giants when he was sold to the Boston Red Sox where he’d finish the season.
Released by the Red Sox before the start of the 1970 season, Kline would sign with the Atlanta Braves. He’d pitch in just 5 games for the Braves, his last game coming in mid-June when he got his final release.