Carl Erskine, a Star Pitcher of the Dodgers’ Glory Years, Is Dead at 97

Carl Erskine, who set a World Series strikeout record, threw two no-hitters and became one of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ top pitchers in their glory years of the 1950s, died on Tuesday in Anderson, Ind., his hometown. He was 97.

His death, in a hospital, was reported on the Dodgers’ website and confirmed by his family, according to IndyStar, the website of The Indianapolis Star.

On a July day in 1948, Erskine arrived at Ebbets Field for the first time.

“The Brooklyn fans, from reading the papers, were aware that this kid pitcher was coming up from Fort Worth,” he once recalled. “I got off the subway and I had my duffel bag with me, ‘Fort Worth Cats’ on the side. Well, as I got near the rotunda of Ebbets Field, people spotted me. My first introduction to Ebbets Field was: ‘Hey, there’s Oiskine. From Fort Woith.’ It was just a natural turn of the tongue in Brooklyn.”

Oisk, as he came to be known by his Brooklyn fans, was among the most popular Dodgers, and over the years he was often sought out by sportswriters for his insightful observations.

He teamed with pitchers like Don Newcombe, Preacher Roe, Clem Labine, Johnny Podres, Billy Loes and Joe Black, and a lineup featuring Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo and Jim Gilliam during the Brooklyn team’s heyday in the early and mid-1950s.

Dodger pitchers posed for a photo at Yankee Stadium in 1952 as they prepared to face the Yankees in the World Series. From left: Joe Black, Carl Erskine, Preacher Roe, Billy Loes and Johnny Rutherford. Credit…Associated Press
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