Fred Besana

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Frederick Cyril Besana

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Biographical Information[edit]

Fred Besana played in the minors for about a decade and briefly pitched in the majors with the Baltimore Orioles.

Besana started his career in 1950 with the Class D Sweetwater Swatters and finished the year with the Class C Albuquerque Dukes, winding up with a combined 18-12 record and a 5.14 ERA. He was out of baseball from 1951 through 1953, serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, and reappeared in 1954 in the Pacific Coast League with the Oakland Oaks, where his record was 0-4 in 7 games. He was back with the Oaks the next season and went 6-10 but with a 3.75 ERA.

Following the 1955 season, the Orioles obtained Besana and he began the 1956 season on the roster. In his first appearance, he pitched two innings, allowing two walks while striking out one batter (Don Buddin) and allowing no runs to score. On April 22nd, he made the first of two career starts, going six innings to pick up the victory against the Washington Senators. Overall, he was 1-0 with a 5.60 ERA in 7 appearances for Baltimore. After about a month on their big league roster, he was back in the minors and spent the remainder of the year with the Vancouver Mounties, going 1-13 with a 6.62 ERA in 25 games. He recalled the disappointment of not getting a chance to pitch to his hero, Ted Williams, when he was on the mound in Fenway Park. The "Thumper" was due up but injured his heel and had to leave the contest. The record shows that Besana played in pro baseball for eight seasons from 1950 through 1961. The 6'4" left-hander appeared in 254 games, winning 58 and losing 67, pitching 1,051 innings, giving up 1,021 hits and 675 bases on balls for a 4.33 ERA.

Fred went on to graduate from Sacramento State College earning a Master's degree in physical education. He was a P.E. teacher and also taught real estate classes. Besana coached the baseball team at American River College in Sacramento for 22 years before retiring in 1990. He had previously coached Roseville High School (1962-1964) and Oakmont High School (1965). His son, also named Fred Besana, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League and played in the USFL.

Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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