Larry Christenson

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Larry Richard Christenson

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Larry thought he was God's gift to women... He called himself the Blond Viking... And he had all these different names for his wiener like the Blue Veiner. He'd say 'Lt's hope the Purple Helmet doesn't come out.' If he didn't have a girl a night on the road, he wasn't happy. He was better off with two. He loved to run. And he made sure everybody knew that the women loved him, that he was The Master. To this day, he's single, just a funny human being." - Randy Lerch, to Peter Golenbock, The Forever Boys

Larry Christenson won 83 games in 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was a member of the club's first world championship team in 1980.

The third overall pick of the 1972 draft out of high school, Larry debuted at 19 on April 13, 1973. He spun a complete game five-hitter against the New York Mets, earning a 7-1 victory. The sledding would not always be that easy, finishing his debut look 1-4 with a 6.55 ERA. He came back to stay in 1975, going 11-6 with a 3.67 ERA. That season, he spun two shutouts, a 1-0 decision against the Houston Astros in July and a rain-shortened effort against the Montreal Expos at Jarry Park in September. Over the next three seasons, he put up double digit victories, with a career best 19-6 record and 4.06 ERA in 219 1/3 innings in 1977.

Larry only eclipsed the 200 inning mark two more times, battling through injuries to answer the call much of the rest of his career. He won 13 games in 1976 and 1978 as part of division winning clubs, but the postseason was not Larry's forte. Though he had a 1.50 ERA in the strike mandated one-off division series of 1981, he staggered to a 7.53 in 4 career NLCS games and a 108.00 ERA in a start that lasted 1/3 of an inning during the Phillies triumphant march to the 1980 title. After making 33 starts in 1982, Larry reached the end of the line in the middle of the 1983 season, making 9 starts before undergoing elbow surgery. At 30, he was through. He made several attempts at a comeback, but all were for naught.

On the hill, Larry finished his career 83-71 with a 3.79 ERA and 6 shutouts in 243 game. At the plate, Larry hit 11 home runs in 427 at bats, including a two homer game against the Mets on September 5, 1976. He later hit a grand slam in the Phillies' division-clinching, 15-9 win over the Chicago Cubs on September 27, 1977.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1977)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1977, 1978 & 1982)
  • Won a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980

Related Sites[edit]