Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Lance Rautzhan, 1952-2016

rautzhanBy Jon Weisman

We’re sorry to pass along the news that former Dodger reliever Lance Rautzhan has passed away at age 63.

Rautzhan was a rookie on the 1977 Dodgers, making his MLB debut that July and going all the way to the World Series both that year. In 1978, he returned to the postseason after delivering a 2.93 ERA in 61 1/3 regular-season innings.

As Ken Gurnick of points out in his obituary for Rautzhan, the left-hander from Pottsville, Pennsylvania was the winning pitcher in one of the most famous Dodger playoff games ever, when Los Angeles scored three runs in the top of the ninth to defeat Philadelphia in Game 3 of the 1977 National League Championship Series. Rautzhan faced one batter, retiring Bake McBride to end the eighth inning.

Overall, Rautzhan pitched in 80 regular season games for the Dodgers with a 3.73 ERA. He finished his career with Milwaukee in 1979, shortly before his 27th birthday.

Rautzhan was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in November 2014.


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  1. RIP Lance. For me he was one of the first vaguely remembered Dodgers from my earliest memories. One of those here today and what happened to him tomorrow. Rick Auerbach was another one. I know Auerbach wore #1. I think Rautzhan wore 36 or 37…I think.

  2. oldbrooklynfan

    I have to say that I vaguely recall Rautzhan but I remember that game very well.

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