This Day in Red Wings History: Keegan and Easter continue Wings domination of Miami

Luke Easter. (Photo courtesy of the Rochester Red Wings)

By CHUCKIE MAGGIO

A 38-year-old pitcher, in any setting, is an unorthodox sight on a baseball roster in 2020.

When you consider Luke Easter was exactly five years older than starting pitcher Bob Keegan, however, the Rochester Red Wings hardly seemed to notice.

Rochester’s elder statesmen taught the Miami Marlins a lesson on Aug. 8, 1959, pacing a 5-0 victory at Silver Stadium.

Keegan threw a three-hitter, scattering only singles, for his 13th win in 20 decisions and his first shutout. He struck out five batters and did not issue a walk, retiring the first 10 and the last 11 Marlins in order. Miami’s only other baserunner reached on an error.

Dick Rand’s solo home run off Harry Byrd to lead off the third inning represented Rochester’s only run until the sixth. Billy Harrell and Bobby Smith doubled in that frame before Easter cleared the light tower with a homer off Byrd that an observer in the parking lot estimated traveled 513 feet on the fly.

Easter, who also collected a single, was one of three Wings to collect multiple hits (Harrell and Rand also singled). Bobby Smith provided the other RBI when he doubled in the seventh.

Byrd, who allowed five hits in 5.1 innings, fell to 5-11 on the year.

Keegan’s victory was his fourth against Miami that season, with the Marlins scoring just four combined runs in his starts. The Rochester native, who was a 1954 American League All-Star with the Chicago White Sox, won 18 games with a 3.04 ERA for his hometown team in 1959.

Keegan pitched one more season before retiring. He was inducted into the Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1993.

Miami AB R H BI Rochester AB R H BI
Valentine cf 4 0 0 0 Harrell 3b 4 1 2 1
Oertel lf 4 0 1 0 B. Smith cf 4 1 1 1
Castleman ss 3 0 0 0 James lf 4 0 0 0
Hamric rf 3 0 0 0 Easter 1b 4 1 2 2
McDermott 1b 3 0 1 0 Green rf 4 0 0 0
F. Smith 3b 3 0 0 0 O’Brien 2b 4 0 1 0
Bucha c 3 0 0 0 Tate ss 3 1 0 0
Burke 2b 3 0 0 0 Rand c 3 1 2 1
Byrd p 2 0 1 0 Keegan p 3 0 0 0
Kay p 0 0 0 0
Bishop ph 1 0 0 0
Totals 29 0 3 0 Totals 33 5 8 5

E- F. Smith, O’Brien, Castleman; DP- Miami 2, Rochester 1; LOB- Miami 2, Rochester 5; 2B- Harrell, B. Smith, O’Brien; HR- Rand, Easter; SB- Valentine, Tate.

Miami IP H R ER BB SO
Byrd (L, 5-11) 5.1 5 4 4 0 0
Kay 2.2 3 1 1 1 2
Rochester IP H R ER BB SO
Keegan (W, 13-7) 9 3 0 0 0 0

Time-2:01. Attendance- 2,437

Also on this day: Bob Sadowski threw a two-hitter as the Red Wings topped Columbus 5-1 in 1960… Mike Boddicker struck out eight and allowed just four hits as Rochester defeated Richmond 6-1 in 1980, prompting Richmond manager Fred Hatfield to quip, “All that guy has to do is throw the glove on the mound against us and we’re done. He beats us like a drum.”

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