Larry Floyd Stahl (June 29, 1941 in Belleville, Illinois), is a retired professional baseball player who played outfielder in the Major Leagues from 1964-1973. He played for the Kansas City Athletics, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Cincinnati Reds.
Stahl was signed by the Athletics in 1960 as an amateur free agent. He broke into the big leagues on September 11, 1964, going 0-1 as a pinch-hitter against Wally Bunker in a 5-2 Kansas City loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Memorial Stadium. After brief appearances in several more games, he notched his first career hit on September 19 at Yankee Stadium in an 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. Pinch-hitting for pitcher Orlando Pena in the sixth inning, he hit a ground-rule double off Ralph Terry.
Playing for the Padres on September 2, 1972, against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Stahl drew one of the most questionable bases on balls in baseball history — if only because of the circumstances surrounding it. Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas had retired the first 26 Padres hitters and was one strike away from a perfect game with a 2-2 count against pinch-hitter Stahl. However, home plate umpire Bruce Froemming called the next two pitches, both of which were close, balls. To date, the perfect game bid is the only one in Major League history to be broken up by a walk to the 27th batter. Pappas secured his no-hitter by retiring Garry Jestadt one batter later.
Primarily an outfielder, his best year was 1971 at age 30 when, in 114 games for the Padres, he hit .253 with eight home runs and 36 runs batted in. He had exactly 400 career hits. In his one postseason appearance, the 1973 National League Championship Series, playing for the Reds he had two hits in four at bats.
By Dean Hanley
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