Allan Fulton Worthington (born February 5, 1929), nicknamed "Red", is a former professional baseball pitcher He played all or part of 14 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Giants (New York, 1953–54, 1956–57 and San Francisco, 1958–59), Boston Red Sox (1960), Chicago White Sox (1960), Cincinnati Reds (1963–64) and Minnesota Twins (1965–69). Worthington batted and threw right-handed. He has been considered the first great closer in Twins history.
Worthington began his career with the Giants as a starter, pitching two shutouts in his first two major league games. After spending most of the 1954 and 1955 seasons in the minor leagues, he became a full-time starter again in 1956. During 1957-58, he was used as a swingman, and by 1959 he was almost exclusively used out of the bullpen.
After successive transactions between the Giants, Red Sox, White Sox and Reds, Worthington landed in Minnesota, where he blossomed into one of the American League's most dominant closers. His most productive season came in 1965, when he posted career-highs in saves (21) and ERA (2.13), and also won 10 games. From 1966 to 1967 he saved 32 games, and in 1968 he led the league relievers with 18 saves.
In a 14-year career, Worthington compiled a 75–82 record with 834 strikeouts, a 3.39 ERA, and 110 saves in 1,246.2 innings pitched.
Worthington would continue on with his career in baseball after his retirement as a player, by accepting the head coaching position at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty's former baseball venue was named after him.
In May 2011, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
- ^ 1953 game log
- ^ "Al Worthington (Baseball Coach: 1974-86/Athletics Director: 1983-89)". Liberty Flames. Archived from the original on 2011-08-19. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
By Dean Hanley
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