David Jolly (October 14, 1924 – May 27, 1963) was a Major League Baseball relief pitcher. The 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 165 lb. right-hander was a native of Stony Point, North Carolina. He was signed by the St. Louis Browns as an amateur free agent before the 1946 season. After pitching in the Browns, Cincinnati Reds, and New York Yankees organizations, he was drafted by the Boston Braves from the Yankees in the 1952 rule V draft (December 1). He played for the Milwaukee Braves from 1953 to 1957.
Jolly made his major league debut in relief on May 9, 1953 against the Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee County Stadium. From 1953 to 1957, the first five years that the Braves were in Milwaukee, he was second on the pitching staff with 158 relief appearances, an average of almost 32 per season. During those seasons the closer's job was held at different times by Lew Burdette, Ernie Johnson, Jolly, and Don McMahon.
His best season was 1954, when he was 11–6 with 10 saves and a 2.43 earned run average in 47 games. He finished in the National League Top Ten for winning percentage, games pitched, games finished, and saves.
Career totals for 160 games (159 as a pitcher) include a record of 16–14, 1 game started, 0 complete games, 82 games finished, 19 saves, and an ERA of 3.77. He wielded a strong bat for a pitcher, going 14-for-48 (.292) with 1 home run, 7 runs batted in, and 8 runs scored.
On October 15, 1957 Jolly was purchased from the Braves by the San Francisco Giants, but never again pitched in a big league game.
He died at the age of 38 in Durham, North Carolina, one year after he underwent surgery for a brain tumor. He was buried at Stony Point Cemetery, Stony Point, North Carolina.
By Dean Hanley
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