Steve Ridzik

Steve Ridzik

Steve Ridzik was born in Yonkers on April 29, 1929, the youngest of seven children. He attended School Seven, Longfellow Junior High school. He began his baseball career at the age of nine on the sandlots of Yonkers and played for the Glenner AC in the Yonkers Recreation League; with Saint Nicholas of Myra in the Catholic Youth Organization League; and with the Hollows AC and the Boilermakers AC in other local leagues.

He was an outstanding athlete at Saunders, starring both basketball and baseball, and here he pitched his team to three successive city championships. His coach was Alex Joyner, who he recalls as “one of the finest men I ever knew.” After high school he pitched in the fast Hudson Valley League where he attracted the attention of scout Fred Mathews of the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League who signed him to a contract in 1945. This began a professional baseball career that spanned twenty-two years, eleven in top minor league competition, and eleven in the major circuits. Thus, Steve Ridzik played longer in the major baseball leagues than any Yonkers athlete.

On reporting to Philadelphia he was farmed to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, who after a short trial period, transferred him up the baseball ladder to Greenboro in the Carolina State League. His minor league experiences encompassed such clubs and leagues as Schenectady in the Canadian American League; Toronto and Baltimore in the International League; Utica in the Eastern League; Wilmington in the inter-State league; Minnesota and Fort Worth in the American Association; and San Diego in the Pacific Coast League. During this time his tams won five league championships and Steve was named on five minor league all star teams.

His major league career covered five clubs-the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, Cleveland Indians, and the Washington Senators, from which club he retired from baseball in 1966. His first year in the big leagues in 1950 was an auspicious one, as his club, the Philadelphia Phillies, won the National League crown. The Highlight of his career came in 1952 when he pitched a no hit-no run game against the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Steve also played Winter League Baseball in Puerto Rico and in the Venezuelan and Dominican Republic Leagues. Here he pitched on two championship clubs, with the Santurce Crabbers in Puerto Rico in 1955 and with the Red Team in Dominican Republic League in 1957.

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