Card: 1952 Bowman #37
Vic Raschi was one of the top pitchers for the New York Yankees in the late 1940s and early 1950s, forming (with Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat) the "Big Three" of the Yankees' pitching staff. He was nicknamed "The Springfield Rifle".
Born March 28, 1919, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, Victor John Angelo Raschi was one of four children of Massimino and Eugizia Raschi. Massimino worked for a local railroad as a carpenter, and the family moved to Springfield itself when Raschi was just an infant.
Raschi started his professional career with the Amsterdam Rugmakers of the Class C Canadian–American League in 1941. Making 17 appearances for them, he posted a 10–6 record in 142 innings pitched. His 3.68 earned run average (ERA) ranked fourth in the league among pitchers who worked at least 140 innings. He also appeared in 17 games in 1942 for the Class B Norfolk Tars of the Piedmont League, working 113 innings. Though he posted a 4–10 record, his ERA was 2.71, which Lawrence Baldassaro of the Society for American Baseball Research called "impressive." However, Raschi's career was placed on hold with the onset of World War II.
For the next three years, Raschi served in the United States Army Air Corps as a physical education instructor. The war also forced him to postpone his college studies. He returned to baseball in 1946 with the Binghamton Triplets of the Class A Eastern League. Vic's debut for the Yankees came on September 23, 1946. Facing the Philadelphia Athletics, he struck out eight and allowed six runs, but the Yankees scored nine, giving him the win. He made one other start six days later, also a complete game against the Athletics, in which he allowed one run in a two-run triumph in Game 2 of a doubleheader.
Vic was the Yankee's opening day starting pitcher for three straight years (1951-53). In 269 games (255 starts), Raschi had a 132–66 record, a 3.72 ERA, 944 strikeouts, and 26 shutouts in 1,819 innings. He recorded a .977 fielding percentage, committing only 8 errors in 351 total chances.
In a war-shortened nine year career, Vic was an integral part of six World Championship Yankee teams. In 1948 he was the winning pitcher in the All-Star Game and also drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded single. Raschi led the AL in strikeouts in 1951.
An outstanding big game pitcher, Raschi posted a 5-3 record and a 2.24 ERA in World Series play, completing three of his eight starts, tossing a 2-hit shutout in one contest, and allowing just 1 run on 3 hits in another." - Author Robert W. Cohen in The 50 Greatest Players in New York Yankees History (Scarecrow Press, #43. Vic Ranchi, 06/16/2003, Page 225)
His success on the mound was an key part of the Yankees’ unprecedented streak of five straight World Series titles between 1949 and 1953. During this time, Vic’s record was 92-40, an average of eighteen wins a season and a winning percentage of .697. From 1949, only his second full season in the majors, through 1951, he won twenty-one games each year. Vic was a 4-time AL All-Star (1948-1950 & 1952), the AL Winning Percentage Leader in 1950, and the AL Strikeouts Leader in 1951.
Later in his career, as a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, he was responsible for allowing Hank Aaron's first career home run.
Raschi is part of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Vic is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Vic is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Vic is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Vic is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
“The Springfield Rifle” is part of the Great Italian American Player Nicknames Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See all Vic’s baseball cards at TCDB
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