Charles Richard Lau (April 12, 1933, in Romulus, Michigan – March 18, 1984) was an American catcher and highly influential hitting coach in Major League Baseball.
He was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent. After spending three seasons with the organization (1956, 1958–1959) he was traded (with Don Lee) to the Milwaukee Braves for Casey Wise, Don Kaiser, and Mike Roarke. After the Baltimore Orioles purchased him from the Braves in 1962, he adopted a contact hitter's batting stance (feet wide apart, bat held almost parallel to the ground). That season he had a .294 batting average with six home runs and thirty-seven runs batted in.
After hitting .194 in 23 games, he was sold by the Orioles to the Kansas City Athletics on July 1, 1963, hitting .294 in Kansas City and having a batting average of .272 in 92 games. On June 15, 1964, he was traded back to the Orioles for Wes Stock. On May 31, 1967, he was purchased by the Braves, now located in Atlanta, and on November 27, 1967, he was released by the Braves.
On April 28, 1961, Lau caught the second of Warren Spahn's two career no-hitters.
By Dean Hanley
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