Cliff Chambers

From BR Bullpen

Cliff Chambers.jpg

Clifford Day Chambers

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

"A lot of us were fighting the flu that day. It was the second game of a doubleheader and I had spent the first game in the clubhouse sleeping. I was asked to start the second game and try to go a few innings... I don't think there was anything ugly about it at all except that I walked eight. I was a hard-throwing left-hander and had very good stuff that day. There wasn't anything close to a base hit off me." - Cliff Chambers, on his no-hitter against the Boston Braves and on Ralph Kiner's claim it was the ugliest no-hitter he'd ever seen

Before the 1942 season, the Chicago Cubs signed Cliff Chambers, a 20-year-old pitcher, as an amateur free agent off the campus of Washington State. They assigned him to their Los Angeles Angels affiliate, where he got into one game; he also pitched that year for the Texas League Tulsa Oilers, where he was 6-7 with a 2.01 ERA, before joining the United States Air Force in World War II. "Lefty" was back in time for the 1946 season, and suited up with the Angels again. This time, he was 18-15 with a 3.02 ERA. It was in L.A. in 1947 that he had his best year, with a 24-9 record and 3.40 ERA. The highlight of his season came when he pitched a shutout in a one-game playoff against the San Francisco Seals that determined the regular-season champions on September 29th.

His next stop would be in the Windy City for the 1948 season, where he was 2-9 with a 4.43 ERA for the Cubbies. The Cubs traded him, along with Clyde McCullough, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Cal McLish and Frankie Gustine on December 8. Chambers put up a 13-7 mark with a 3.96 ERA for the Pirates in 1949 but fell to a 12-15 record in 1950. He came back in 1951 with a 3-6 record and pitched what he calls the most memorable game of his career. On May 6, Lefty went the distance, defeating the Boston Braves, 3-0, for the first no-hitter by a Pirates pitcher in 44 years, since Nick Maddox, in 1907.

This performance was good enough to get him traded, on June 15, 1951, to the St. Louis Cardinals. The trade turned out to be good for him as he won 11 games for the Cardinals in the second half of the season, finishing with a combined 14-12, 4.38 record. After two more adequate seasons in St. Louis, Cliff retired during the 1954 season while with the PCL San Diego Padres. In a six year career, Cliff was 48-53 with a 4.29 ERA in 189 games.

After his retirement, Cliff stated, "I had a college degree and figured it was time to get on with my life. I had married a Boise girl and liked the city and have been here ever since. I was in the insurance business and then became a licensed certified financial planner." He died in Idaho early in 2012.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1950)

Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

Related Sites[edit]