Posts Tagged ‘Al Lary’

Buff Biographies: Al Lary

August 20, 2013

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Al Lary fell far short of being the greatest pitcher in Houston Buff history, but he still left his mark with that 4th place last Buffs club of 1961. The Buffs finished with a 73-77, .487 mark in their last minor league season in the American Association and Al Lary was their last double-digit wins leader for the year. His 15-9, 3.58 ERA mark paced the 1961 club.

In 1960, Lary’s first year with the Buffs, he went 12-8 with a 3.53 ERA – making it 27-17 for his two seasons in Houston. His 12 wins in 1960 also paced all Buffs pitchers in another mediocre year.

At 6’3″, 185 lb., the BR/TR Lary had come to professional baseball from the University of Alabama. He lasted for 12 minor league seasons (1951-52, 1955-64), compiling a career mark of 103-100, 3.76 ERA. He also had a two-cups-stop background with the Chicago Cubs as a major league pitcher for an 0-1, 6.53 ERA mark over 16 games in 1954 (1) and 1962 (15).

At 15-9, Al Lary was the last big winner for the Houston Buffs in their final season of 1961.

At 15-9, Al Lary was the last big winner for the Houston Buffs in their final season of 1961.

Lary was out of baseball in 1953. Although we are lacking confirmation this morning, our first guess is that his absence had to do with military service, rather than injury. The Korean Was was just ending in 1953 and Lary was age 24 in that last year of the war. We will attempt to get confirmation of military service or injury for 1953 and plug it in here as it arrives.

My memories of Lary are of a guy who had pretty good form, a pitcher who did well when he could get the batters to hit the ball on the ground to his fielders. He overpowered very few batters, depending greatly upon batters hitting playable and catchable balls. When the balls were hit hard, the hits fell, and Lary lost, but, for the last 1961 Buffs, he mainly won.

The next season, 1962, Houston’s first in the big leagues, Al Lary was in the other dugout on Opening Day as a reliever for the Chicago Cubs for his second and last season in the big leagues.

Al Lary was born in Northport, Alabama on September 28, 1928. He passed away in the same place on July 9, 2001 at the age of 72.