Edward Charles Rakow (May 30, 1935 – August 26, 2000), nicknamed "Rock," was an American professional baseball player. The right-handed pitcher appeared in 195 games in Major League Baseball during all or parts of seven seasons (1960–65; 1967) as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Athletics, Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves. He stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 178 pounds (81 kg).
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rakow signed with the Dodgers during their last season in Brooklyn, 1957, and after three minor league seasons, he spent part of the 1960 season on the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster. He worked in nine games, two as a starting pitcher, and lost his only decision, giving up 18 earned runs, 30 hits and 11 bases on balls in 22 innings pitched. The following spring, he was traded to the Athletics, where he would appear in 121 games over the next three years.
Rakow's most noteworthy season came in 1962. He led the A's in games started (35), innings pitched (235⅓), complete games (11), shutouts (2) and games won (14). He led the American League in losses (17) and earned runs (111), and finished eighth in the league in strikeouts (159, which led the Athletics).
After the 1963 campaign, Rakow was included in a major off-season trade with the Detroit Tigers, in which he, fellow right-handed pitcher Dave Wickersham and second baseman Jerry Lumpe were exchanged for slugger Rocky Colavito, pitcher Bob Anderson and cash. His first year as a Tiger, 1964, saw Rakow lower his earned run average to a career-best 3.72 in 34 games and 174⅓ innings pitched, but it would be his last full season in the Majors. Detroit farmed him out to Triple-A in May 1965, and Rakow remained in the minor leagues for the remainder of his career, except for 17 games with the Atlanta Braves during the latter weeks of the 1967 season. Rakow retired after 1968, his 12th pro season.
He allowed 771 hits and 304 bases on balls in 761⅓ big-league innings pitched, with 484 strikeouts, 20 complete games and five saves. Of his 195 MLB appearances, 90 came as a starting pitcher.
In 1989, at age 54, Rakow was a player-coach for the West Palm Beach Tropics of the Senior Professional Baseball Association.
By Dean Hanley
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