John Oldham

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John Hardin Oldham

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Biographical Information[edit]

Baseball statistics usually separate position players from pitchers, but John Oldham, a left-handed hurler out of San Jose State University, is listed with the former. He made it into one game on September 2, 1956, playing for the Cincinnati Redlegs as a pinch runner for Ted Kluszewski at Crosley Field and never did get a chance to work off the mound in the majors. John was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Redlegs on July 19, 1954 and farmed out to the Columbia Reds of the South Atlantic League where he saw little action but did go 2-0, pitching 11 innings.

Oldham spent 1955 with the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, going 9-6 with a 3.84 ERA, appearing in 35 games. This got him to Cincinnati in 1956 where he made his one and only appearance in the majors following a discharge from service in the Navy earlier that year. He was with the Reds for a couple of months, and warmed up in the bullpen on several occasions, but saw no pitching action. John was with the Savannah Redlegs and the Nashville Volunteers in 1957, having a combined season with 4 wins and 7 losses and a 5.90 ERA.

In 1958, Oldham went 2-0 for the Yakima Braves of the class B Northwest League, pitching just 18 innings in four outings. On December 2, 1958, he was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates from Cincinnati in the minor league draft. John finished up his baseball career with three clubs in 1959, going 1-2 in 12 appearances. He closed out his five-year minor league run with an 18-15 record and a 4.87 ERA, while appearing in 85 outings.

Oldham went on to become a high school teacher and baseball coach in Campbell, CA, then was an instructor and the head baseball coach at San Jose City College for 15 years and at Santa Clara University for 13 more. One of his players was future major league pitcher Dave Righetti, whose father, Leo Righetti, was a shortstop and teammate of Oldham's on the 1955 PCL champion Seattle Rainiers. Oldham, who lived in San Jose, CA as of last notice, was the supervisor of umpire development for the class A California League.


Baseball Players of the 1950s

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