William Joseph Klaus B Dec. 9, 1928 D Dec. 3, 2006
Originally signed by the Cleveland Indians before the start of the 1946 season, Klaus’ signing would be voided 1 year later and he’d be signed by the Chicago Cubs. Drafted by Dallas of the Texas League in late 1949, Klaus would be purchased after the 1950 season by the Boston Braves.
Finally making it to the majors in 1952, Klaus would play in 7 games, going 0-4 at bat but would walk once and be credited with 3 runs scored. Making the journey to Wisconsin with the Braves when they resumed play as the Milwaukee Braves in 1953, Klaus would play in just 2 games, once again going hit-less in 2 plate appearances.
Klaus wouldn’t see the major leagues in 1954 but would spend the season in the New York Giants organization after a trade. He’d be traded again after the season, this time to the Boston Red Sox.
1955 would be the year Klaus would break into a major league lineup, playing in 135 games, hitting .283 and getting consideration for “Rookie Of The Year” honors. Klaus would remain in Boston through 1958 being traded to the Baltimore Orioles after the season ended. Klaus would spend 1959 & 1960 in Baltimore.
Selected by the “new” Senators in the expansion draft of 1960, Klaus would play in 91 games for Washington, hitting .227 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs and 30 RBI’s.
Sold to the Philadelphia Phillies before the start of the 1962 season, Klaus would end his career in 1963. Hitting just .056 in 11 games, he was released in mid-May.
Robert George Kline B Dec. 9, 1909 D Mar. 16, 1987
Bob Kline would debut in mid-September of 1930 with the Boston Red Sox. He’d pitch for 1 inning in 1 games, giving up 1 hit but no runs. Back on the Red Sox roster in 1931, Kline would post a 5-5 record in 29 games.
Kline’s most active season would be 1932 when he’d go 11-13 for the Red Sox in 47 games. He’d appear in another 46 games in 1933, posting a 7-8 record.
Traded to the Philadelphia Athletics during the off-season, Kline would pitch in 20 games for the A’s, posting a 6-2 record before being sold to the Washington Senators in late June.
Kline would wind down his career with the Senators that season, posting a 1-0 record in 6 games, but compiling a horrific 15.75 ERA, his last appearance in the majors coming in mid-July.
Darold Duane Knowles B Dec. 9, 1941 Still Living
Pitcher Darold Knowles would play in the major leagues for 16 seasons with 8 different teams.
Originally signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 1961, Knowles would make his way to the majors in 1965. Pitching in 5 games for the O’s, he’d post an 0-1 record with a 9.20 ERA.
Traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after the season, Knowles would spend 1966 in Philadelphia where he’d go 6-5 in 69 games.
Traded again after the 1966 season, Knowles would be headed to Washington in exchange for Don Lock. Knowles would finally have a chance to settle down, at least for a few years, as he’d remain on the Senators roster through early May of 1971.
Knowles would have a great 1969 season in Washington, posting a 9-2 record with a 2.24 ERA and would be named to the American League All Star Team that season.
However, Knowles is probably best remembered for 1970 when he’d post a 2-14 record in 71 games with a 2.04 ERA. How does someone do that? Only with the Senators.
Knowles would start the 1971 season in Washington, going 2-2 in 12 games before being traded in early May to the Oakland Athletics, along with Mike Epstein, in exchange for Frank Fernandez, Paul Lindblad, Don Mincher and cash.
Knowles would remain in Oakland through the end of the 1974 season. With the A’s he’d finally get a taste of some post-season action, being credited with 2 saves during the Athletics World Series win over the New York Mets in 1973.
Traded to the Chicago Cubs after the 1974 season, Knowles would spend 1975 & 1976 in Chicago, then was traded to the Texas Rangers where he’d spend 1977. He’d be traded to the Montreal Expos where he’d play in 1978.
Granted free agency after the 1978 season, Knowles would sign on with the St. Louis Cardinals where he’d pitch in 1979 and early in 1980 before being released, coincidentally 15 years to the day after he debuted with the Orioles in 1965.
Delbert Bernard Unser B Dec. 9, 1944 Still Living
Outfielder and pinch hitter extrordinarie Del Unser was drafted by both the Minnesota Twins (1965) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1966) but did not sign with either team.
“The third time is the charm” or so the old saying goes, and Unser finally signed with the Washington Senators in June of 1966.
Unser would make it to the big club in 1968, playing in 156 games his rookie season, hitting .230. He’d boost his BA to .286 in 153 games in 1969 and would remain with the team through their move to Texas.
Unser would be traded after the 1971 season, with the team now officially known as the Texas Rangers, to the Cleveland Indians where he’d spend 1972.
Traded again after the 1972 season, Unser would spend 1973 & 1974 with the Philadelphia Phillies before being traded again, this time to the New York Mets where he’d play in 1975 and part of 1976.
Unser would be traded to the Montreal Expos where he’d finish the 1976 season and remain through 1978.
Granted free agency after the 1978 season, Unser would sign on for a second go-round with the Phillies, where he’d play through June of 1982.
Unser’s heroics with the 1980 Phillies are still remembered as the team won their first ever World Series.