Stephen George Ridzik
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.
- Debut September 4, 1950
- Final Game May 10, 1966
- Born April 29, 1929 in Yonkers, NY USA
- Died January 8, 2008 in Bradenton, FL USA
Sixteen-year-old Steve Ridzik , who was still in high school, was signed as an amateur free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies on August 5, 1945 and the right-hander had time to appear in 7 games and go 0-3 for the Greensboro Patriots of the Carolina League before school started that fall. His mother had signed his contract for him with the provision that he would finish high school. In 1946, his junior year in high school, he appeared in ten games for the Schenectady Blue Jays of the Canadian-American League and went 3-4 with a 3.79 ERA and it was back to school for his senior year and graduation in 1947. He reported back to the Blue Jays and went 9-3 with a 2.68 ERA that year, appearing in 16 contests.
The young fellow went 15-12 for the Utica Blue Sox in 1949 and 8-7 with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1950 and this got him his first trip to the mound in Shibe Park, where he appeared in 3 innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs his first time up with the Phillies in 1950. For the next several years, until 1966 to be exact, Ridzik was up and down from the minors to the majors on a regular basis, seemingly each season.
His major league tour started with the Phillies, for whom he pitched until he was traded to the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1955. He was sold to the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, but only stayed there long enough to be claimed by he New York Giants in the 1955 Rule V Draft. He pitched for the Giants in 1956 and 1957, who sold him to the Cleveland Indians in 1958. They in turn shipped him to the Chicago Cubs, although he never appeared for them in the majors. After spending from 1959 to 1962 in the minor leagues, in good part with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he turned up with the Washington Senators from 1963 to 1965, where he was mainstay in the bullpen. Ridzik wound up his major league career with the Phillies in 1966, the team that started all this, back in 1945 (21 years earlier). His major league career stats show that he appeared in 314 contests, pitching 782 innings, and won 39 times while losing 38 with a 3.79 ERA. Ridzik saw a bit more action in the minors appearing in 380 games, pitching 2,051 innings, with a 127-110 record and a 3.71 ERA.
After baseball Ridzik went to work for Trinity Marketing Corporation as a military food broker in Washington, D.C.. The company supplied military base exchanges and commissaries worldwide. After retirement he moved from his home in Virginia to Bradenton, FL, where he died on January 8, 2008.