John Tsitouris, American baseball player, Died at 79

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John Philip Tsitouris was born on May 4, 1936, and passed away on October 22, 2015.

John was an American professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1957–1960 and 1962–1968.

He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg).

John graduated from Benton Heights High School in Monroe, North Carolina.

He signed with the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1954 and made his MLB debut with the Tigers on June 13, 1957.

Coming into a scoreless tie in relief of Steve Gromek in the fifth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles, he had an adventurous top of the sixth frame, surrendering two hits and a stolen base, but emerged unscathed when Oriole baserunners Joe Durham and Dick Williams were both thrown out at home plate.

Then, in Detroit’s half of the sixth inning, the Tigers scored two runs on a home run by Charlie Maxwell and an RBI double by J. W. Porter.

John pitched 12⁄3 innings that day and gave up one earned run, three hits and two bases on balls, but ended up getting credit for a 2–1 victory.

During that off-season, he was part of a 13-player trade that sent, among others, Billy Martin to the Tigers from the Kansas City Athletics.

John had trials with the Athletics in both 1958 and 1959 and spent all of 1960 on the Kansas City roster, but he appeared in only 14 games and 33 innings pitched and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a waiver deal for left-handed pitcher Joe Nuxhall on January 1961.

He spent almost two full seasons in minor league baseball before getting his chance with Cincinnati in September 1962.

John made the most of it, giving up only two earned runs in 21⅓ innings and hurling a complete game, five-hit shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies on September 30.

For the next three seasons, Tsitouris was a full-time member of the Reds’ pitching staff, winning 12 (1963), nine (1964), and six (1965) games, mostly as a starting pitcher.

On September 21, 1964, he shut out the Phillies 1–0 on six hits at Connie Mack Stadium, starting the ten-game Philadelphia losing streak that knocked the Phillies out of first place.

However, with his effectiveness diminishing year-by-year, Tsitouris was sent to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 1966 and, despite brief trials with Cincinnati in 1967–1968, spent the rest of his career in the minors.

John’ Major League record included 149 games pitched, 34 wins, three saves, and 432 strikeouts in 663 innings.

John passed away in Monroe, North Carolina on October 22, 2015.

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